Shoplifter Darren Boulton stole fabric softener from a local store and spent 30 hours locked up, a court heard.
Lincoln magistrates were told Boulton was identified by a security guard at Savers as the person who took a bottle of Bold worth £4.50.
Marie Stace, prosecuting, said Boulton was arrested and denied being the person involved, but he now accepted he dropped the stolen item into a black bag he was carrying.
Boulton (28) of Grey Street, Lincoln, admitted theft on July 1.
Roisin McCafrey, representing, said it was a low value item stolen for family use and Boulton had been locked up at the police station since his arrest.
Magistrates marked it as time served for the offence and ordered Boulton to pay £60 costs and £4.50 compensation.