Two shoplifters who swiped £140 of booze from Morrisons in Sutton told a court they came to the area looking for work, only to discover the job involved stealing.
Constantin Stoica-Alexandru was seen putting four bottles of gin into his basket, and then Marius Tabacaru concealed them in his clothing, on the morning of February 1.
Prosecutor Anna Pierrepont said they were both detained outside the store, but Stoica-Alexandru was found carrying a magnet, which can be used to remove security tags.
She said Tabacaru told police they had arrived from Birmingham that morning, and he stole the gin because it was his birthday soon.
Stoica-Alexandru said he had come to Nottingham on the National Express the day before, and needed money to pay for a ticket back to Birmingham.
Stoica-Alexandru, who was unrepresented, told magistrates in Mansfield: “A young man told us he could help us with a job.
“It was about stealing and he gave us the magnet and we regret it now.”
Stoica-Alexandru, 35, and Tabacaru, 25, both of Pershore Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham, admitted theft, via a Romanian interpreter, when they appeared at court, on Wednesday. Stoica-Alexandru also admitted going equipped for theft.
The court heard Tabacaru was cautioned for theft and going equipped to steal in 2016.
Probation officer Greta Percival said they had travelled to Sutton for work, but then discovered that the job involved stealing.
She said Tabacaru came to the UK for employment in 2015 but normally stays for only two or three months.
Probation officer Sarah Alderton said Stoica-Alexandru, a car mechanic, claimed the magnet didn’t belong to him.
“He knew the theft was wrong but he was desperate for money,” she added.
The pair have been working in a carwash for one week, the court heard.
Tabacaru was given a 12 month community order, including 40 hours of unpaid work.
Stoica-Alexandru also received a 12 month community order, with 60 hours of unpaid work.
They must both pay a victim surcharge of £85 and costs of £42.50.