A Jan. 3 bail hearing was set on Thursday for a prolific, infamous 83-year-old jewel thief accused of stealing a $22,500 diamond ring from a Palm Desert store.
Doris Marie Payne, who allegedly swiped the 3.5-carat ring from El Paseo Jewelers on Oct. 21, appeared at Indio's Larson Justice Center Thursday morning, where attorneys set a hearing for next week to determine if money Payne wants to use for bail is legal tender, or obtained illegally.
A trial-readiness conference, where a trial date is usually set, was scheduled for Feb. 3.
Payne is being held in lieu of $65,000 bail and faces up to six years in prison if convicted as charged. She is charged with one felony count each of grand theft and burglary.
At the time of the ring theft, Payne had been out of prison for about three months and was living in a Riverside motel while on probation for felony theft in a Los Angeles case.
Riverside County sheriff's Deputy Adan Yamaguchi wrote in a declaration in support of an arrest warrant that Payne would ``typically charm the sales associate and ask to see multiple items at once, causing the sales associate to forget how many items they are showing.''
On Oct. 21, Payne entered El Paseo Jewelers, introduced herself as ``Audrey'' and was shown about a dozen necklaces, he said, adding that she left without buying anything but returned an hour later and was shown some rings.
Payne told the employee she would come back the next day with a $12,000 cashier's check from Bank of America to buy some pieces, but the next day, employees realized the ring was missing, according to Yamaguchi.
Using images captured Oct. 18 in Saks Fifth Avenue in Palm Desert, deputies identified the thief as Payne, and a store security guard recognized her ``from the company's run-in with Payne in 2010,'' when she was arrested for theft, Yamaguchi wrote.
The ring she allegedly stole in Palm Desert was found by police on Nov. 6 -- in Palm Desert, at a second-hand jewelry dealer.
In ``The Life and Crimes of Doris Payne,'' which premiered in April at the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival in Toronto, Payne says her ``methodology of stealing jewelry took me all over the world ... New York, Milan, Paris, Rome, London.''
Payne's record includes: Pleading no contest in June 2011 to stealing a $16,000 ring from a Santa Monica jewelry store, for which she was sentenced to 16 months in prison; a January 2011 conviction for stealing an $8,900 ring from Macy's in San Diego for which she was given five years in prison; and an April 2010 conviction for stealing a $1,300 Burberry trench coat from a Saks store in Costa Mesa for which she got a year in jail.