Office of the DeKalb County District Attorney

Stone Mountain Judicial Circuit

Sherry Boston, District Attorney


March 31, 2017

Decatur, Ga.- An internationally renowned jewel thief has admitted to stealing a high-priced necklace from a Dunwoody department store. During court proceedings Wednesday afternoon, 86-year-old Doris Payne pleaded guilty to a felony count of Theft by Shoplifting. She was sentenced to three years’ probation to serve 30 days in custody--reduced to time-served. Payne was also ordered to serve 120 days on house arrest by DeKalb County Superior Court Judge Linda Hunter, who presided over the case.

The shoplifting incident occurred on December 3, 2016 at the Von Maur Department store in Perimeter Mall. Defendant Payne was captured on surveillance video placing a $1,995.00 Lagos necklace in her coat pocket moments after viewing several items of jewelry with a sales associate. Loss prevention officers stopped the Defendant prior to exiting the store. Payne quickly discarded the necklace in a trash can before being questioned by security.

Defendant Payne has a lengthy criminal history involving various theft crimes dating back to the 1960’s. At the time of her DeKalb County arrest, she was on probation for a theft conviction in California and was awaiting trial for a 2015 theft charge in Fulton County. Defendant Payne was arrested on a bench warrant on March 11, 2017 after failing to appear for an arraignment hearing the previous week.

According to the terms of her plea agreement, Defendant Payne is banned from all Von Maur stores and all DeKalb County malls, including Perimeter.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Drew Shumate. Officer M. Pham of the Dunwoody Police Department led the initial investigation.