Entries in International (3)


International Jewel Thief, 80, Sentenced to Five Years

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(SAN DIEGO) -- International jewel thief Doris Payne, 80, was sentenced to five years in prison Wednesday for her latest caper in a criminal career that stretches back more than half a century.

In court, Payne told the judge she didn't think he should "be harsh with [her]" after she was convicted of swiping a nearly $9,000 diamond ring from Macy's in San Diego on Jan. 1, 2010.

"I am truly sorry that this went on as long as it did," she said according to a report by ABC News' San Diego affiliate KGTV.

But Judge Frank Brown gave her five years, the upper end of the possible sentence.

"You won't stop," Judge Frank Brown said. "That's the problem here...She's a thief. She's charming. Santa Claus' wife, that's who she is."

Payne has been, by her own admission, a career thief and traveled the world plying her craft. She has never used a gun or lifted a finger in violence, but still slips out of jewelry stores with her loot, according to her lawyer Gretchen von Helms, who described her modus operandi to ABC News.

Dressed to the nines, she waltzes into a high-end jewelry store in Monte Carlo -- or Paris or Las Vegas -- and smiles at the clerk. She asks to try on a ring or a watch -- wait, no not that one, the other one. How about this one?

After trying on and admiring several pieces, all the while bantering with the sales clerk, she decides that, no, she won't be buying anything today. She glides out as gracefully as she came in and the clerk goes back to work.

It will be hours before the clerk realizes one of the more expensive pieces – a ring that nice old lady had tried on -- is missing.

"They're not robberies," von Helms said in January. "What she does is theft by beguilement. She goes in, she's charming, she talks to folks and leaves. She just happens to have a diamond with her." 

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Report: US to Cut Aid to Lebanon If Hezbollah Seizes Power

Image Courtesy - Getty Images(BEIRUT, Lebanon) – A report in an Arab newspaper cites a U.S. official as saying that the United States will stop giving aid to Lebanon if militant group Hezbollah takes control of the country’s government.

The paper Asharq al-Aswat quoted a United States official on Sunday, who said that Congress would refuse to provide aid to anyone “taking orders from Hezbollah.” American officials maintain that Hezbollah has long held ties with al Qaeda, although Hezbollah has denied such allegations.

That statement by the U.S. official follows the collapse of the Lebanese government earlier this month. Hezbollah recently resigned from the country’s unity government after tensions began to rise over a tribunal which was expected to indict members of the group in the 2005 assassination of former prime minister Rafic Hariri.

Political leaders from surrounding countries have expressed concern about the future of Lebanon and its leadership.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


'Unbelievable': Young Man Boards Air Canada Jet Disguised as Old Man

Photo Courtesy - Air Canada(RICHMOND, B.C.) -- An elderly, wrinkled white man boarded a plane in Hong Kong and a young, baby-faced Asian man got off in Vancouver in what Canadian authorities are calling an "unbelievable" case of disguised identity.

Midway through the Oct. 29 Air Canada flight, the man entered the plane's lavatory and removed an intricately detailed silicon mask. When he returned to his seat, his identity as an Asian man in his early 20s was revealed, according to an "Intelligence Alert" circulated internally by the Canada Border Services Agency.

"Information was received from Air Canada Corporate Security regarding a possible imposter on a flight originating from Hong Kong," reads the alert.

"The passenger in question was observed at the beginning of the flight to be an elderly Caucasian male who appeared to have young looking hands. During the flight the subject attended the washroom and emerged an Asian looking male that appeared to be in his early 20s." The bulletin describes the incident as an "unbelievable case of concealment."

The Canada Border Services Agency would not comment to ABC News, but spokesmen for the Canada Immigration Ministry and Air Canada confirmed the details of the incident included in the bulletin.

The man, whose name has not been released by authorities, was met at the gate by Canadian security officials. He declared refugee status after being escorted through customs.

Officials searched the man's baggage and discovered a "disguise kit," including the silicon mask, a brown leather cap, glasses, and a brown cardigan.

"The subject admitted…that he had boarded the flight with the mask and removed it several hours later," according to the alert.

According to the CBSA, the man swapped boarding passes prior to boarding with an American born in 1955.

"It is believed that" the man showed his Aeroplan credit card as identification to board the flight. "Neither boarding passes not Aeroplan cards reflects date of birth," according to the alert.

An Air Canada official told ABC News that the airline requires passengers to show a passport before boarding international flights leaving Hong Kong.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio 

ABC News Radio