A man who stole from shops was struggling when his benefits were stopped, a court heard.
His solicitor explained to Kirklees magistrates that he was short of cash when his benefit was switched over from Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) to Universal Credit.
On March 7 the 32-year-old was immediately recognised by staff at Boots in Dewsbury as he was not welcome in the store.
They watched him as he walked past the tills and their suspicions that he was shoplifting were confirmed when some cosmetics fell out of his jacket onto the floor.
A police officer was passing and detained Chambers and £74 worth of cosmetics were seized from him.
He had been due at the Huddersfield court on Friday for the offence but failed to show and a warrant was issued for his arrest.
The following day Chambers was then caught stealing from Tesco in Cleckheaton.
He hid some bottles of tanning lotion on him and was detained by security staff after paying for only an apple at the self-service checkouts.
Staff at Wilkinsons in Dewsbury checked the CCTV footage to see Chambers stealing from the shop on March 8.
He was observed dropping some items before leaving the store and they discovered that he had taken three packets of razor blades and some deodorants.
Chambers asked magistrates to take two further thefts of coffee and meat, both from Gomersal Filling Station in Cleckheaton, into consideration when sentencing him.
In mitigation Paul Blanchard told magistrates that Chambers, who has 156 offences to his name, was struggling to pay for food, gas and electric.
He said: “He’s always been on ESA and that’s been phased out and replaced with Universal Credit.
“There was a gap in this and he found himself reverting to type and stealing to fund these.
“There’s nothing particularly sinister in terms of his offending and his claim is pending.
“Sending him to prison doesn’t solve the problem.”
Magistrates sentenced Chambers, of Butts Hill in Cleckheaton, to a community order with a curfew for six weeks.
He will have to pay £140 compensation for the goods not recovered by the stores.