A Mansfield man sprinted from Tesco with a £99 vacuum cleaner because he was "struggling financially and didn't know what else to do," a court heard.
An off-duty police officer entered the saw Oak Tree Lane store as Kirk Wharton ran towards her, carrying a large box in his hands and saying "excuse me" as he moved past customers.
"The alarms went off and she saw him sprinting away at 12.05pm, on July 15," said prosecutor Daniel Church.
"In interview he said he just went in and grabbed it because he was struggling financially and didn't know what else to do."
Wharton, who was unrepresented, told magistrates: "Sorry. I am ashamed of what I have done. I honestly won't do it again. I'll take whatever punishment comes."
He explained he is currently on benefits and does industrial cleaning when the work is available.
"I will be working again in about three weeks," he said. "When I am not working I am always looking for work."
The court heard he has four previous convictions and was last convicted in 2015.
Wharton, 29, of Girton Court, admitted the theft when he appeared at Mansfield Magistrates Court, on Thursday.
He was fined £80 and he must pay a £32 surcharge, £85 costs and compensation to Tesco.
Read more of the latest cases from Mansfield Magistrates Court here.