From Jewels to Jail: Latest Saga in the Life of Doris Payne
Photo: Video by kmir6.com
CREATED Oct. 31, 2013
An 83-year-old woman and a 60-year crime spree -- on Thursday, Doris Payne faced a judge here in the desert after allegedly stealing a ring from a Palm Desert jeweler.
She's no stranger to a courtroom.
Doris Payne did appear in court Thursday, but didn't enter a plea because she told the judge she wants to hire a private attorney.
She will return to court Tuesday.
The judge did not allow our cameras inside, but the general manager of the jewelry store did lead us through the alleged heist.
Diamonds may be a girl's best friend, but they appear to be Doris Payne's lifelong love affair.
Her life as a jewelry thief spans decades and continents...
"We got hit by a celebrity, we do get celebrities here, so I guess we got the celebrity thief too," said the El Paseo Jewelers' General Manager.
The latest chapter in the saga of Doris Payne happened right here at El Paseo Jewelers.
The general manager, who did not want his face on camera, walked us through the alleged theft.
"She walks in, she tells me her jewelry was stolen, and she got a $42,000 check from insurance and she wants to buy a necklace."
The manager says she left, returning 45 minutes later saying she wanted a ring, a necklace and earrings.
"I have been in the wholesale and retail business all my life and nobody's stolen just under my eyes."
The manager of El Paseo Jewelers says Doris Payne was looking at the ring, managed to switch one out, and then he says put one down her blouse.
"I've got to give credit for her craft she was excellent what she did, she knew exactly what she was doing."
He says it wasn't until later an employee said they couldn't find a ring.
A police alert the next day raised alarm bells.
"The picture was there and it says international jewelry thief is seen on El Paseo, and I just said we got hit by her."
The general manager doesn't know if he'll ever see the missing ring again, but has words for Doris.
"At your age you are doing this, we've got to create some morality, but again as we get up and go to work, she gets up and goes to work too."
The general manger of El Paseo Jewelers told me they did catch the theft on camera, but couldn't show it to me because it's part of the police investigation.