Chesterfield magistrates’ court heard on October 31 how Paul Walker, 34, struck at the store on Meadow Lane while he was shopping with his wife and their children.
Prosecuting solicitor Becky Allsop said Walker was seen by members of staff in the store after he had been there with a female with a pushchair with them.
She said: “He bought two items and staff stopped him and they found goods under the pushchair.
“Walker left the store and the details of the vehicle he got into were passed to police and it was stopped and they noticed a number of security tags in his vehicle.”
The defendant of Whyville Row, Leicester, told police he went to the store with his wife and two children to get shopping and he had not intended to steal but after he saw items without tags he placed the items under the pram.
Walker, who has previous convictions for theft, pleaded guilty to stealing sports clothing valued at £1,608 after he was arrested at Bramley Vale for the theft on September 2.
He also admitted failing to surrender to court on September 18 having been released on bail.
Defence solicitor Julie Page said Walker accepts coming to the area with his wife and two of their five children.
Mrs Page added that Walker had visited the store with the legitimate purpose of collecting an item that was not available in Leicester and he had not come to the store with the intention of stealing.
Walker had also intended to come to court for a previously scheduled hearing on September 18, according to Mrs Page, but the car he had been travelling in broke down.
Magistrates sentenced Walker to a 12 month community order with a Rehabilitation Activity Requirement and 150 hours of unpaid work.
He was also ordered to pay an £85 victim surcharge and £85 costs.