Notorious 86-year-old jewel thief Doris Payne released from jail

Notorious 86-year-old jewel thief Doris Payne released from jail

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Doris Payne, an 86-year-old infamous jewel thief, is shown in an archived mugshot and one released by Chamblee police in July. She was accused of shoplifting from Walmart. The case was dismissed Friday.
  • Story Highlights
  • Payne was arrested at a Chamblee Walmart in July.
  • At the time, Payne was one 120 days of house arrest.
  • A judge on Friday Revoked Payne’s probation due to a lack of evidence.

Doris Payne, the 86-year-old woman who has stolen about $2 million in jewelry over the last six decades and reflected on her crimes in a documentary, is a free woman again.

Payne was arrested at a Walmart in Chamblee in July after she allegedly took $86.22 in merchandise from the pharmacy, electronics and grocery departments, according to Chamblee police.

At the time, Payne was on 120 days of house arrest, which was part of her sentence in March for admittedly stealing a necklace from Von Maur at Perimeter Mall in 2016. She also was sentenced to three years of probation and was banned from shopping in any mall in DeKalb County.

But even though the Chamblee case is still pending, on Friday Payne walked out of jail when a DeKalb Superior Court judge revoked her probation, according to the DeKalb sheriff’s office and Payne’s attorney.

“There was not enough new evidence on the new arrest,” the attorney, Marissa Goldberg, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “She’s free.” 

Over the years, Payne has dressed in fine clothes with deep pockets, charmed sales workers at high-end department stores, distracted them and slipped out with expensive jewelry, The AJC previously reported.

She was the subject of a 2013 documentary, “The Life and Crimes of Doris Payne,” that detailed how her theft habits began when she was in her 20s. 

—Staff writer Steve Burns contributed to this report.

In other news:

The attorney for the family will hold a news conference on Monday.

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