A 32-year-old woman has admitted that she stole an ornament from Clinton Cards in Grantham High Street.
Caren Patel, of Kipling Close, Grantham pleaded guilty to stealing a Willow Tree figurine valued at £17 from the shop on February 21.
Prosecutor Shelley Wilson informed the court how staff at the store were already on alert after a spate of recent thefts of these collectable ornaments, and on the day in question noted Patel moving the objects about before going to a stand with candles.
A member of staff then checked the Willow Tree display and noticed two empty boxes.
When Patel left the store she was followed by one of the shop workers around the town who then confronted her as she got into a taxi.
At this point the defendant revealed that she had got one Willow Tree figurine in her bag, which was then recovered.
Mrs Wilson said that Patel had faced 10 previous charges relating to theft, with the last conviction being in November of last year which had resulted in a suspended sentence that she had now breached.
Chris Pye-Smith, defending, said that Patel committed the theft at a time when she was unemployed and struggling to claim benefits after being sent the wrong forms.
The case was adjourned until June 9 so that a pre-sentence report on Patel can be produced by probation officers.