Notorious elderly jewel thief sent back to prison - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Notorious elderly jewel thief sent back to prison

SAN DIEGO, CA (NBC) - An 80-year-old woman was sentenced to five years in prison for stealing a diamond ring, but that isn't the end of the story.

Turns out the theft was by no means her first, and may not be her last.

This jewel thief is so prolific, actress Halle Berry is slated to play her in an upcoming film about her life.

Doris Payne is going back to prison for stealing an $8,900 diamond ring from a Macy's in Fashion Valley.

"If you're going to give me the death penalty then I'm going to stand on the truth, I never saw Miss Bryce, I saw the lady that got fired," Doris Payne said in her defense before court.

Payne's daughter said she stands by her mother despite her numerous thefts.

"If she chopped the head off somebody, I may not think it's right, but she's my mom," she said.

For Payne's daughter, this is the first time she has ever attended one of her mother's many court appearances.

"She really didn't want me here today, but it was like no, I'm coming," she said.

Payne's daughter said she has always known about her mother's notorious criminal lifestyle, but she never questioned it.

"She lived where she lived, and she had her life, and I have a life."

She also said her mother never stole to get rich.

"She gets enough money to pay bills, it's not to travel, expensive cars, and stuff like that, that's not her."

Payne's daughter doesn't agree with her mother's crimes, but she also blames store clerks for allowing it to happen.

"If she comes in a store and she can talk you out of not doing your job, that's your fault, it is not her fault," she said.

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