Doris Payne, an 86-year-old infamous jewel thief, shown in an archived photo and one released by Chamblee police last week. She is accused of shoplifting from Walmart.

Notorious 86-year-old jewel thief Doris Payne awaits next legal step

Doris Payne was about two weeks from the end of her house arrest when she was accused of shoplifting last week at a Walmart in DeKalb County.

Now the notorious 86-year-old jewel thief is in the DeKalb jail on a probation-violation charge with no bond and, as of Friday, no court date scheduled. 

“It’s very, very sad,” her attorney, Drew Findling, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Saturday.

Payne, who has stolen about $2 million worth of jewelry over the past six decades and been open about her theft habits, is in uncharted waters.

Famous for stealing high-end goods, Payne was arrested at Walmart over taking $86.22 in merchandise from the pharmacy, electronics and grocery departments, according to Chamblee police.

That incident came while she 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.

“It’s a different set of circumstances,” Findling said. “We’re not talking designer earrings or watches.”

Findling, who also represents comedian Katt Williams, said he has talked to Payne since she was jailed, but he would not discuss their conversation.

RELATED: Notorious 86-year-old jewel thief Doris Payne back in jail

RELATED: Notorious 86-year-old jewel thief Doris Payne arrested again — at Walmart

RELATED: 86-year-old notorious jewel thief banned from Von Maur, DeKalb malls

DeKalb probation officials, who took Payne into custody after the Walmart arrest, said they are concerned about her situation.

Their statement said in part, “(The Department of Community Supervision) believes in providing offenders under our supervision with opportunities to make positive changes through individual support, programs and assistance.

“However, the safety of Georgia citizens and the protection of all property are our greatest concerns.”

So Payne awaits the next step in her legal situation.

“An 86-year-old and incarceration,” Findling said, “is not ideal.”

In other news:

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.