Notorious 86-year-old jewel thief Doris Payne arrested despite illness

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Notorious 86-year-old jewel thief Doris Payne arrested despite illness

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The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Doris Payne, an 86-year-old infamous jewel thief, shown in an archived mugshot and one released by the DeKalb jail. She is accused of shoplifting from Perimeter Mall.

Doris Payne, the jewel thief who's stolen about $2 million worth over the last six decades, was arrested Monday by the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Fugitive Unit.

The 86-year-old was wanted on a bench warrant after missing a court date earlier this month.

She told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution a few hours after missing the appearance that she’s been ill.

“I ain’t runnin’,” she said in a phone interview. “Medically, I was not able to go.”

She was arrested at her Atlanta home without incident, the sheriff’s office said.

She’s been dealing with severe pain, trouble with balance and draining tests related to a lump in her neck. It could be cancer, she said.

The hearing was related to a theft charge from a December arrest at Perimeter Mall.

Last month, she was deemed too ill to stand trial by the judge presiding over a Fulton County case stemming from a missing set of Christian Dior earrings at Phipps Plaza.

Payne has been open about her habits of theft, which she detailed in a documentary called, “The Life and Crimes of Doris Payne.”

Please return to ajc.com for updates.

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