RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif., Dec. 1, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- A 3.5 carat diamond-encrusted ring that was stolen from El Paseo Jewelers in Palm Desert, California by international jewel thief Doris Payne and later recovered will be auctioned off on December 5, 2015 with the entire proceeds being donated to the Self-Esteem Program at the Barbara Sinatra Center for Abused Children at Eisenhower Medical Center.
Doris Payne, now 85, pleaded guilty to stealing the ring from the jewelry store on fashionable El Paseo in Palm Desert in October of 2013. The ring was later recovered and retuned to jeweler, Mr. Raju Mehta. Mehta indicated that as a result of the publicity of the theft, he wanted to donate the proceeds of the sale of the ring to the Girl's Self Esteem Program at the Barbara Sinatra Children's Center. "I understand that Doris Payne had a rough childhood that appears motivated her to a life of crime. I am hopeful that by donating the proceeds from the sale of the ring we can make a positive effect on some young ladies that are helped by the Children's Center." Mehta went on to state that the store will take bids on the ring on December 5, 2015 at the Grand Opening of El Paseo Jewelers' new store. The successful bidder will be announced that evening at 8:00 pm.
Doris Payne, who over five decades has stolen an estimated $2 million in jewelry across the U.S. and Europe, was arrested in Atlanta on Oct. 23 of this year after a guard spotted her pocketing a pair of earrings at Saks Fifth Avenue. She is currently in jail awaiting trial. Atlanta police realized that she was also wanted in Charlotte for stealing a ring worth $33,000 from a David Yurman shop in July. The daughter of an illiterate coal miner, Payne was born in Slab Fork, West Virginia. When she was 23, she walked out of a Pittsburgh jewelry store with a diamond valued at $22,000, kicking off a criminal career that has spanned the globe. In 2013, a documentary entitled the Life and Crimes of Doris Payne was released. There has been talk of a feature film entitled "Who is Doris Payne".
The Director and Executive Officer of the Barbara Sinatra Children's Center, Mr. John Thoresen, said that the proceeds from the sale of the ring will be used to support the Teen Self Esteem Program that was started by Barbara Sinatra nearly 30 years ago. "The Children's Center is well known for our Self-Esteem program and this wonderful donation will help our therapists and volunteers add some additional elements to a most successful program," Thoresen added.
About The Barbara Sinatra Center for Abused Children
Founded in 1986 by Barbara and Frank Sinatra, the mission of the Barbara Sinatra Center for Abused Children is to counsel children suffering the effects of abuse, and to focus on prevention, community education and breaking the cycle of generational abuse. No child is ever turned away due to a family's ability to pay. Since 1986 over 20,000 children have been served. The Children's Center is located on the campus of the Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage, California. www.barbarasinatrachildrenscenter.org.
John E. Thoresen or Raju Mehta
(760) 773-1627 (760) 773-1040
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SOURCE The Barbara Sinatra Center For Abused Children