A pensioner raided shops in Blackpool when she came to stay with family friends in the resort.
Lilian Nickson said she was trying to help her son who had amassed a big drug debt.
Nickson, 70, of Wellington Road, Ellesmere Port, Cheshire, admitted three offences of theft.
She was sentenced to nine months’ supervision and ordered to pay £355 compensation by Blackpool magistrates.
On November 9 , 13 and 26, Nickson, who had previous shoplifting convictions, went into Marks & Spencer and stole £746 of women’s clothing.
Imran Majid, defending, said Nickson’s son had had a drug habit and owed a big debt to dealers.
She became involved in theft to help her son, who was now undergoing treatment for his drug problem.