A 74-year-old woman suffered a heart attack after a man snatched £200 from her hand at a cashpoint in Mansfield.
The victim needed an operation and was still in hospital when Andrew Hauck (21), appeared before Nottingham Crown Court on Thursday.
Hauck, of St. Lawrence Court, Mansfield, admitted theft and was warned he is facing a possible prison sentence.
The pensioner was taking money from a cashpoint in Church Street on 4th February. She had the £200 in her hand and was putting it in her purse when Hauck reached over and took it.
CCTV footage showed him reaching round with his hand, said Sue Matthews, prosecuting.
His plea of not guilty to the more serious charge of robbery was accepted as no violence had been used. The woman had a heart attack later the same day and was taken to hospital.
Judge John Burgess entered a not guilty verdict on the robbery charge but said: “It was still a nasty, mean offence against a vulnerable person.
“Clearly it crosses the custodial threshold.”
Hauck was remanded in custody until sentencing in three weeks.