'Granny gem thief' Doris Payne arrested

Infamous 86-year-old jewelry thief skipped out of arraignment

DECATUR, Ga. -- Doris Payne, the woman whose life of crime spans more than 50 years and spans two continents, was arrested on Monday, according to the DeKalb County sheriff's department.

Payne, 86, was arrested after being sought on a bench warrant for her failure to appear at an arraignment hearing earlier this month.

Payne, who was to have been in court on March 6, 2017, was out on bond after having been arrested for an alleged jewelry theft at Perimeter Mall last year.  

She was taken to the DeKalb jail.

Attorneys for Payne, also known as the "granny gem thief," said she is too sick to go to trial, according to a document filed in Fulton County Superior Court in Atlanta.

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Payne had been nabbed in Atlanta October 2015 after she was caught allegedly shoplifting a pair of $700 earrings from the Saks Fifth Avenue in Phipps Plaza.

She was out on bond for that case when she was arrested and charged with stealing, again, in December 2016 in Dunwoody. She allegedly tried to steal a $1,995 diamond necklace from a Von Maur jewelry store at Perimeter Mall. Payne was released on a $15,000 bond in that case and ordered not to travel outside the state of Georgia.

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Payne's crimes have made her something of a celebrity among thieves. In fact, she was the subject of a documentary, “The Life and Crimes of Doris Payne,” now on Netflix.

In a jailhouse interview with The Desert Sun in May 2014, Payne said she began stealing watches to save her mother from an abusive relationship, but continued into her golden years so she could live a glamorous lifestyle—a far cry from her childhood of poverty in West Virginia.

PHOTOS: Jewel thief Doris Payne

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