A thief stole designer watches from a Lincoln city centre store while the window display was being rearranged, Lincoln Crown Court was told on Monday.
Marcus Robert Lowe was walking past the Ernest Jones store when he spotted that a cabinet displaying Gucci watches was open and walked inside.
Lowe then walked up behind the woman working on the display and reached over her snatching two watches.
Phil Howes, prosecuting, said: “The woman was organising the display at the Gucci section. She was kneeling on the floor when she felt a hand on her shoulder and a voice saying ‘get down’.
“The defendant reached over her, grabbed two watches and ran off. They were perhaps the most expensive watches in the display and worth £980 each. She was not injured but very shocked.”
Mr Howes said that police were able to identify Lowe as the thief from CCTV footage. He was arrested 40 minutes later in Lucy Tower Street but had by then disposed of the watches.
The court was told that Lowe has convictions for 56 previous offences of theft.
Marcus Lowe, 41, of Monks Road, Lincoln, admitted theft of two wrist watches worth a total of £1,960 belonging to Ernest Jones on September 9 this year. He also admitted breach of a previous community order.
He was jailed for a total of 10 months.
Deputy Judge Robert Moore, passing sentence, told him: “You saw the opportunity to obtain these watches. Within 40 minutes you had moved them on. This is an offence where only a sentence of immediate custody can be justified.”
Annette Thomas, in mitigation, said that Lowe accepted he would receive a prison sentence for what he did.
She said he was effectively homeless at the time he committed the offence.