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

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.

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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.

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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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