Doris Payne was convicted last month of burglary and grand theft in connection with the January 2010 theft at the Fashion Valley shopping center. She was sentenced Wednesday in San Diego County Superior Court.
Judge Frank Brown said Payne deserved the maximum sentence because she has several prior convictions for theft and has been sent to prison twice.
Prosecutor John Pro said Payne has made a "lifelong career" of stealing.
The San Diego Union Tribune reports Payne could face extradition to Michigan, where she is accused of stealing a three-diamond ring from a Neiman Marcus in 1998.