African American in Prison

Source: Doug Berry / Getty

Atlanta Police had no clue who they had just nabbed when they picked up an elderly woman for reportedly stealing some designer jewelry.

Doris Payne, 84, was arrested on October 23, 2015, for allegedly making off with a $690 Christian Dior diamond ring from Saks Fifth Avenue at Phipps Plaza Mall.

According to the Atlanta Police Department, it was a fairly quiet burglary. “I think these officers just thought it was a run-of-the-mill shoplifting,” Sgt. Warren Pickard stated in a police report. “She put [it] in her pocket and politely walked out of the store.”

Surprisingly, Doris’ reputation did not precede her, so officers were shocked to find out that this was just another day at work for her.

Sgt. Pickard wrote, “They took the woman into custody and short time there after they get notice that another jurisdiction had a warrant for her and she was an international thief.”

The theft in Atlanta was nothing compared to the heist she reportedly pulled off in North Carolina. According to, “Diamond” Doris was wanted for swiping another diamond ring worth $33,000 from a mall in Charlotte. And that’s just the beginning!

Supposedly, Doris has hit spots all over the world, including Greece, Switzerland and The United Kingdom. Perhaps the crown jewel of her conquests was the 10.5-carat diamond she grabbed in Monte Carlo. Doris’ string of larceny was so infamous, she was even the subject of a documentary titled The Life and Crimes of Doris Payne.

Doris won’t have too many opportunities to indulge in her old hobby as she’s currently in lockup at an Atlanta detention center.


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