A man who snatched a bag from an 83-year-old woman in the centre of Berkhamsted has been jailed for 19 months.
Lewis Dumbarton was already being chased after stealing a satnav system from a lorry.
As he ran from the removal man who was chasing him, he spotted the old lady walking towards the High Street after parking her car.
Dumbarton ran up behind her and grabbed the bag hanging over her shoulder.
But he didn’t get far, St Albans Crown Court heard, as more witnesses gave chase. A member of the public promptly grabbed him.
Dumbarton, 23, of Hazel Road, Berkhamsted, pleaded guilty to robbing the elderly woman on May 16 this year. He also admitted the theft of the satnav system from the lorry parked in Shrublands Road in the town.
In addition he pleaded guilty to six offences of shoplifting goods worth £444 from stores in Berkhamsted.
Between the end of March and mid May he had targeted Hamlyn Toy shop stealing a radio controlled toy helicopter and WH Smith, helping himself to art and craft supplies and DVDs.
The court was told the crimes had been linked to Dumbarton’s drug problems. Stephen Cook, defending, said his client felt genuine remorse over his targeting of the old lady.
He said Dumbarton had found himself homeless at the age of 14 because of violence at the hands of his mother’s boyfriend and had drifted into the world of drugs.
Recorder Robin Allen QC told him the robbery victim must have seemed an “easy target.”