US & Canada

Infamous 85-year-old US jewel thief arrested again

Doris Payne booking photo Image copyright AP

An 85-year-old American jewel thief who has been on a stealing spree for more than 60 years has been charged with theft again.

Doris Payne was arrested for allegedly pocketing $690 (£451) earrings from a Saks Fifth Avenue store in the Atlanta suburbs.

Her lawyer is seeking her release because of unspecified health concerns.

Payne, who was profiled in a 2013 documentary, has served multiple prison stints for her crimes.

Officials say she has used at least 22 aliases since she stole her first diamond when she was 23 years old, and probably got away with far more than she was convicted of.

The Jewelers' Security Alliance, an industry trade group, sent bulletins warning stores about her as early as the 1970s.

The group's president John Kennedy said the length of Payne's criminal activity was "extraordinarily rare".

"Usually they either stop because they have enough money and they don't want the risk anymore, or they're dead," he said.

In a 2005 prison interview with the Associated Press, Payne said it was never about the money,

"I've had regrets, and I've had a good time," she said.

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