A taxi driver had to pursue and grab the thief who took just a few coins from his cab, Doncaster magistrates heard.
Mohammed Shabir had left his car outside his house for just a few moments when Ian Winstanley spotted some cash in it.
Paul Macauley, prosecuting, said Winstanley tried to escape, but was chased and tackled by Mr Shabir, who held him until police arrived.
Winstanley, aged 37, of Beckett Road, Wheatley, admitted theft from a motor vehicle.
Cedric Hennis, mitigating, said the stolen money amounted to only £1.60 and it was the lowest level of theft, which was an ‘opportunistic offence’.
Winstanley was given a 12-month community order with attendance on a Thinking Skills programme. He must also pay £100 prosecution costs.