75-Year-Old Jewel Thief Sentenced to Prison

A 75-year-old woman who employed charm and guile in stealing jewels around the globe was sentenced Thursday to at least two years in prison, an official said.

Doris Payne was convicted of walking away with an $8,499, 1.5-carat diamond ring from a Las Vegas store in March of last year.

She also pleaded guilty to obtaining $7,000 from another city jewelry outlet for a ring she stole from a Neiman Marcus store in Palo Alto, Calif., last July. Three other counts were dismissed.

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Besides the two-to-five-year sentence on the two burglary charges, Payne was ordered to pay $44,499 in restitution. She was credited with 337 days for time already served.

Payne, originally from Slab Fork, W.Va., has described a five-decade career during which she used at least 22 aliases and stole jewelry around the world.

She typically dressed well and charmed clerks before taking expensive rings or watches when the clerks' attention was diverted.

She has served jail time in Ohio, Kentucky, West Virginia, Colorado and Wisconsin, and walked away from a hospital while in federal custody in Texas.

Payne was arrested in Las Vegas in July.