Michael Lawrence took bags of pound coins from the Sainsbury's Local in Binchester Street, in South Shields, where he worked as a supervisor.
He quit his job when suspicion fell on him in August, 2017, South Tyneside Magistrates' Court heard.
"Losses were identified at the store," said Lee Poppett, prosecuting.
"A Sainabury's investigator viewed CCTV footage which suggested Mr Lawrence may be responsible.
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"He was suspended, and made the subject of a disciplinary process.
"Mr Lawrence declined to take part in that process, and he was not spoken to by the police until earlier this year.
"He was frank with officers, telling them he had taken 'about £100' in pound coins.
Lawrence, 61, of Shoreswood Drive, Sunderland, admitted theft in August, 2017.
David Forrester, defending, said: "This took place nearly two years ago.
"Mr Lawrence has not been in any trouble before nor since.
"t's true that he left the store and did not go back, but he did not flee the jurisdiction.
"He has been living and working locally had the police wanted to find him sooner.
"Mr Lawrence cannot really say why he took the money, because he knew the store was well covered with CCTV making detection likely.
"Sainabury's seem to think he took two bags of coins, £40, it was Mr Lawrence who volunteered that he may have taken more.
"He is a man with no previous convictions who is unlikely to trouble the courts again."
Lawrence was sentenced to a community order of 12 months, 100 hours of unpaid work, and he was ordered to pay £270 costs.