Doris Payne looks like a loving grandmother with a charming smile. Yet, beneath the surface, the 84-year-old is a convicted international jewel thief and authorities in Charlotte, North Carolina, claim that she's back in action.
People reports that Charlotte, North Carolina, police are on the lookout for the infamous jewel thief, who has stolen jewelry from England, France, Greece, and Switzerland. Now, it seems that on July 11, the notorious elderly thief stolen a $33,000 engagement ring from the David Yurman store, located in Charlotte's SouthPark Mall.
Payne, who has been touted as regal in demeanor, was initially spotted at Tiffany & Co. before she headed to the David Yurman store. Tiffany & Co. employees warned employees at the David Yurman store, but Payne uses a "slight of hand tactic" by grabbing the jewelry quickly and speeding out of the store. By the time David Yurman employees were warned, it was too late.
As a career jewelry thief, Payne has spent most of her life stealing expensive jewelry pieces. According to a 2013 interview that took place while Payne was awaiting trial for a Palm Desert, California, robbery, attorney Blair Brooke complimented her, stating that there is no reason for anyone to assume anything about her because her rap sheet is so long.
"Doris is an extraordinary woman who has led an extraordinary life. I think it would be quite foolish to presume anything about this new matter, except to presume her innocence unless and until proven otherwise."Payne was eventually convicted of the 2013 theft, and ordered to spend half of a four-year sentence in jail, and the other half on supervised probation. She was released from jail in October of last year, and apparently took some months off before traveling to South Carolina.Due to her long history of jewelry swiping, which stems back to the mid 1950s when Payne was a beautiful, young woman, she's now well-known to jewelers across the world.
According to Dovy Karberg, vice president of the Diamonds Direct store in Charlotte, Payne is not only someone that people in the industry must watch out for, but she's also interesting to learn about due to her sophisticated manner.
"She is a fascinating character. Payne is infamous in our industry, certainly someone to watch, and someone who is interesting to watch."So far, the Charlotte police haven't commented on any leads, but they did indicate that the notorious "Doris Diamond" elderly jewel thief allegedly took a halo and platinum band, filled with multiple small diamonds.
[Photos Courtesy of Riverside Police Department & AP]