International Jewelry Thief Talks To 10News

Doris Payne, 80, Found Guilty In Local Jewelry Theft

For the first time since her conviction, an 80-year-old international jewelry thief spoke to 10News on Friday.

Doris Payne, who is in the Vista jail awaiting her sentence, told 10News she did not originally start out stealing.

"It would [be]… accidental," said Payne. I'd take my girlfriend, show her how to make them forget and I'd give it back... I was good at it before I knew anything about stealing."

Payne's career as an international jewelry thief spanned more than 50 years.

"I think I reached a point where I just wanted to see where I could go," she said.

Payne is also the subject of an upcoming movie called "Who Is Doris Payne?" about her life as a con artist. In the movie, Payne will be portrayed by Halle Barry.

Payne's career came to an end at a Macy's in Fashion Valley Mall in January last year. Prosecutors said Payne was caught on camera stealing a ring valued at nearly $9,000.

Last week, Payne was found guilty of burglary and grand theft and could face up to five years in prison when she is sentenced on Feb. 9. She could have received three years probation if she hadn't rejected an earlier plea deal.

Against the advice of her attorney, she took the stand and testified in her own defense just to prove a point.

"I never deny doing it," said Payne. "I would have taken the three years probation. I just wanted my story to be right."

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