A 33-year-old man snatched £20 from the till of a Spalding store when he went to pay for a can of coke, Boston Magistrates Court has been told.
Matthew David Hall of Walpole Drive, Pinchbeck, but who was of no fixed address at the time, admitted the theft.
The court heard that he grabbed the two £10 notes from the till, which had been opened to take his payment when he went to pay at Heron Foods in the Sheepmarket on January 15, and then ran away.
However, said Paul Wood prosecuting, he had been recognised by staff and he was arrested later while he still had one of the £10 notes on him.
He told police he had stolen the money to buy drugs, said Mr Wood.
Mitigating, Tony Davies said Hall had lost his job and his accommodation and had broken up with his girlfriend at the time of the theft.
Hall was fined £80 and ordered to pay £10 compensation