SAN DIEGO (CNS) - An 80-year-old woman with a history of shoplifting was convicted Wednesday of burglary and grand theft charges for stealing a ring valued at $8,900 from a Macy's store in Mission Valley.
Doris Payne faces up to five years in prison when she is sentenced Feb. 9 by Judge Frank Brown.
Defense attorney Gretchen von Helms urged the judge to set bail for Payne pending sentencing, but Brown said he didn't trust the defendant and ordered that she be taken into custody.
"I don't trust you. You lied to my jury," the judge said.
Brown said Payne was a flight risk and a danger because she would not stop stealing.
Deputy District Attorney John Pro said Payne - who has been to prison twice - has a significant criminal history, mostly theft related.
Pro said the defendant walked out of the store with the ring on Jan. 2, 2010, when a clerk with whom she had been talking for about 45 minutes turned her back.
Payne testified that it was indeed her on Macy's surveillance video in the store that day, but said authorities couldn't prove that she stole the ring.
The defendant told a detective that she sold the ring in question for $1,800 to a jeweler she looked up in the phone book, Pro said.
Von Helms argued that prosecutors could not prove Payne guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. The attorney said identifications of Payne by witnesses were tainted because of photos of the defendant they had seen on the Internet.
Von Helms also told jurors that the clerk dealing with Payne was distracted by trying to make a sale, and argued there was no evidence that the ring in question ever left the store.
Payne was convicted in 1999 for stealing a ring from a Neiman Marcus store in Denver and was sentenced to 12 years in prison. In 2005, the defendant stole an $8,500 ring in Nevada and a $31,500 ring in Palo Alto, while on parole.
She was in an Orange County jail after pleading guilty to stealing a $1,300 Burberry trench coat from a Saks Fifth Avenue in Costa Mesa when she was interviewed about the ring theft in San Diego.
A West Hollywood film crew has been in San Diego filming a documentary about Payne's life.
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