DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. - A notorious 86-year-old jewel thief bonded out of jail Saturday afternoon in DeKalb County. In her latest case, authorities accuse Doris Payne of trying to steal a $2,000 necklace from the Von Maur store at Perimeter Mall.
She spoke exclusively with FOX 5 after her release.
“Being a thief [isn’t] the worst thing you can be... I don’t care what people think I am,” Payne told FOX 5’s Marissa Mitchell.
Payne also said she plans to enjoy the holidays and avoid incidents involving theft charges again. She told Mitchell people won’t see her in that type of situation again.
“I know you won’t because I got what I needed,” Payne added.
Payne’s relatives and friends made plans Thursday to pull together her $15,000 bond and get her out of jail for Christmas.
“We are going to take her home and spend Christmas morning in Church, then watch her favorite college football games the rest of the day,” Sonjia Williams Lewis told FOX 5’s Portia Bruner.
Authorities have said Payne has lifted pricey baubles from countless jewelry stores around the world in an illicit career that has spanned six decades. She was the subject of a 2013 documentary, “The Life and Crimes of Doris Payne.”
When asked about her exploits in an interview with The Associated Press earlier this year, she said simply: “I was a thief.”
Friday, she told a DeKalb County Magistrate Judge she has no intention of skipping court.
“I admit I have a history. I won’t deny that, but I have never been late to court and I have never failed a bail. I assure you, I will show up for court,” Payne said as she stood in the DeKalb’s orange jail jumpsuit.
Williams Lewis said Payne hasn’t had any troubles with the law since her October 2015 arrest at Phipps Plaza. Atlanta Police charged her with stealing a $700 pair of Christian Dior earrings from Sax Fifth Avenue.
“I honestly didn’t expect her to do something like this again. I think it must be the thrill, the excitement, the attention. When we go places, people swarm her. They love her. I think it’s possible she just got bored,”Williams Lewis said. “I’m going to take her back home with me so I can keep an eye on her.”