Legendary Jewel Thief Displays Charm During Court Appearance. Photos

Legendary jewel thief Doris ‘Diamond’ Payne, 86, appeared in court on Friday, showing off her charm as she acknowledged her criminal history spanning six decades. Payne, who faces a shoplifting charge for stealing a $2,000 diamond necklace on Tuesday, assured the judge that she’s never been late for a court appearance.
She made her ‘respect for judges’ known, adding: ‘I’m not denying that I have a history. I do.’ When the judge set bond at $15,000, and restricted her from leaving the state, Payne promised to obey the law and thanked him for being fair. A friend, Sonjia Williams, told NBC she hoped to arrange her release, but the senior citizen remains in custody at the DeKalb County Jail in Georgia. The 86-year-old has traveled the world, swiping millions of dollars worth of jewels by making staff ‘forget’ she was carrying them. Payne – a career criminal who was once wanted on two continents – swore off her life of crime more than a decade ago. But it seems that old habits die hard. And on Tuesday, she was arrested at a Von Maur department store just outside Atlanta after police say she put a $1,995 diamond necklace in her back pocket and tried to leave the store. Sweet, elegant and immaculately turned out, Payne may be the world’s most unlikely international jewel thief. But authorities said Payne has lifted pricey baubles from countless jewelry stores around the world, and the senior citizen once bragged about a $500,000 heist in Monte Carlo. But Payne’s career as an international jewel thief began decades ago with a criminal record dating back to 1952. Since then she has stolen hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of jewelry including her most notable theft – a 10-carat diamond ring, valued at $500,000, from Monte Carlo in the 1970s. Payne fled to France, and was detained in Nice before being extradited back to Monte Carlo. She was held there for nine months before being released, as authorities were unable to locate the stolen gem. Authorities have said she has used at least 22 aliases over the years and probably got away more often than she was caught, though she has done several stints in prison. In a 2005 jail interview, Payne remembered her exploits with amusement and explained how she stole diamonds because they were easiest. For her, the thefts were about the thrill, not the money. There’s never been a day that I went to steal that I did not get what I went to do,’ she said in her documentary. ‘I don’t have any regrets about stealing jewelry. I regret getting caught.’