The infamous international “granny gem thief” who's stolen millions of dollars worth of items during a nearly eight-decade criminal career was released from jail Friday -- but her recent shoplifting troubles may still linger.
Doris Payne, 86, was released from DeKalb County jail, just outside of Atlanta, after she was arrested for allegedly shoplifting $86.22 worth of items at a Chamblee Walmart in July, her lawyer Drew Findling said Monday.
Payne’s case is still pending and she may face further time for her misdemeanor shoplifting charge. She's due back in court in October, but her lawyers believe she is trouble-free, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
“There was not enough new evidence on the new arrest,” her other attorney, Marissa Goldberg, said. “She’s free.”
Payne told WGCL-TV after her court hearing on Friday: “They didn’t have anything to prove…I never lied and didn’t say I didn’t have it. I’m saying there was no intent. And there wasn’t.”
At the time of her Walmart arrest, the granny thief was amid a three-year probation stint after pleading guilty to another shoplifting charge in March. During that incident, Payne had attempted to steal a $2,000 necklace from a store at Perimeter Mall in December. She was banned from every Atlanta-area mall after the incident, Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
The judge closed her probation violation case last week after determining there wasn’t enough evidence to keep her in jail.
Payne's rap sheet details more than 20 arrests in the span of 76 years. She's mostly served short sentences for her crimes and has sometimes been released for good behavior – before ultimately ending up back behind bars.
Payne appeared in a 2013 documentary, “The Life and Crimes of Doris Payne,” in which she detailed the first time she "took" a piece of jewelry at age 10. Payne also talked about how she took her thieving ways abroad, to locales such as Greece, Switzerland and France.
"There's never been a day that I went to steal that I did not get what I went to do," Payne said in the documentary.