A shoplifter from Cross Roads returned to the outdoor shop where he had previously stolen a £220 jacket, Skipton magistrates heard on Friday.
A member of staff recognised Joseph Atha, 28, and challenged him after failing to get through to the police on the 101 non-emergency number.
The staff member locked up the premises and followed Atha out of the village, and he was eventually traced through the registration plate of his BMW car.
Atha had first gone into CC Outdoors, in Grassington, on October 12, where he was recorded on security cameras putting the Rab jacket into a large green rucksack before leaving the shop. On November 15 he returned carrying the same green rucksack, and was recognised by the member of staff.
Atha, who admitted theft, had a previous conviction for the same offence, and had also been subject to a suspended prison sentence at the time, but for a dissimilar matter, the court heard.
In mitigation, Julian White said a serious head injury suffered by Atha following an assault in 2010 had led to behavioural problems.
Mr White said Atha had been walking in the area at the time, and it had been an impulsive and not a premeditated act to take the jacket while in a backroom of the shop. Magistrates adjourned sentencing on Atha, of Nile Street, until February 28.