| Crime |

Halle Berry -- that jewel thief you were planning to play just struck again

Keep Westword Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

Actress Halle Berry is reportedly planning to star in a film called Who Is Doris Payne?. But plenty of police officers already know the answer to that question -- including the ones who just busted her for allegedly swiping a Burberry coat from a Saks Fifth Avenue in Costa Mesa, California.

Indeed, Payne, who's 79, has a long and storied career as a scofflaw in localities across the country -- including here in Colorado, where she spent more time in stir than she did stealing expensive diamond rings.

According to an entertaining 2008 Los Angeles Times article penned by DeeDee Correll, "the beginning of the end" of Payne's criminal career took place in Denver -- although that prediction has proven a bit premature.

Circa the late '90s, Correll writes, Payne stole a five-carat diamond ring from a local Neiman Marcus. Several months later, she was recognized in a mall in Pennsylvania, leading to her arrest. In 1999, she was convicted in Colorado and given a twelve-year sentence.

By the middle of the next decade, however, Payne was out on parole and back to her old habits. She snatched thousands of dollars worth of baubles in Nevada and California before being busted outside -- yes -- a Neiman Marcus in Vegas with $2,700 worth of clothing. As she was processed for the crime, Correll notes, Payne listed her occupation as "jewel thief."

Payne subsequently spent two years in a Nevada jail before being shipped back to Colorado to complete her term here. When the Times article was published, she was still in prison and swearing that she was reformed. Her son was confident she meant it, telling Correll, "She's not going to steal anymore."

Didn't quite work out that way, did it?

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.