Jewel Shop Worker: 83-Year-Old Alleged Thief “Was Excellent at What She Did”

The alleged thief says her sticky-fingered career has spanned more than 50 years.

An 83-year-old woman was arrested on suspicion of ripping off a jewelry store in Southern California, the same month a documentary chronicling her alleged decades-long career in crime debuted, authorities said.

Doris Marie Payne, of Riverside, was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of grand larceny, according to the Riverside County Sheriff's Department. She is suspected of stealing a $22,000 ring from a Palm Desert store on Oct. 21, the Associated Press reports.

And it was not the first time Payne has been implicated in a jewelry heist.

The Associated Press reports that her criminal career has spanned more than five decades, and has resulted in the disappearance of millions of dollars’ worth of jewels in the U.S. and Europe.

Payne’s latest heist allegedly took place at El Paseo Jewelers in Palm Desert, police said.

Investigators said she stole the piece after telling an employee she recently had all of her own jewelry stolen.

“We do get celebrities here, so I guess we got the celebrity thief, too,” an anonymous El Paseo employee told NBC4. “She was excellent at what she did.”


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Payne’s bail is set at $45,000.

Payne has been charged with jewel theft several times in the state of California and currently is on probation for convictions stemming from the theft of a $9,000 diamond ring in San Diego and a $16,000 ring from a store in Santa Monica, NBC News reports.

The independent film "The Life and Crimes of Doris Payne" began screenings earlier this month. It's synopsis calls her a "glamarous" woman who is "unapologetic today about the $2 million in jewels she's stolen."

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