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Longtime Jewel Thief Doris Payne Faces New Shoplifting Charges

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

In this country, a celebrity jewel thief is awaiting arraignment. Doris Payne is 85. She's accused of stealing earrings from an Atlanta department store.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It's the latest incident in a six-decade career. Her life as a jewel thief is so extensive, it was the focus of a 2013 documentary, "The Life And Crimes Of Doris Payne."

(SOUNDBITE OF DOCUMENTARY, "THE LIFE AND CRIMES OF DORIS PAYNE")

DORIS PAYNE: Stealing jewelry - it was just exciting. It also became a social outlet for me. That was my everything. I'd just be anybody I wanted to be.

INSKEEP: Doris Payne says she grew up poor but learned how to disguise herself as wealthy. So long as she looked affluent, nobody suspected her when she walked into a jewelry store. She said she has used many aliases in the United States, Europe and Japan.

(SOUNDBITE OF DOCUMENTARY, "THE LIFE AND CRIMES OF DORIS PAYNE")

PAYNE: I reached a point doing this - it reached - I forgot about the money per se. It was a challenge. The finer the store, the bigger the challenge.

MONTAGNE: Recently, Doris Payne's luck has run out twice. She was caught in both Georgia and North Carolina. She's currently out on bond. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Renee Montagne
Renee Montagne, one of the best-known names in public radio, is a special correspondent and host for NPR News.
Steve Inskeep
Steve Inskeep is a host of NPR's Morning Edition, as well as NPR's morning news podcast Up First.

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