The man was sitting in his house near Kiskeam in north-west Cork when two men entered his unlocked home.
According to gardaí, one of the men stayed near the doorway while the other went over to the frail pensioner, restrained him, and rifled his pockets.
The pair left a short time later with a small amount of money and escaped in a Volkswagen car. The incident happened on Dec 28, between 3pm and 3.30pm.
The man was not hurt but was shocked by the ordeal.
Gardaí subsequently confirmed that on foot of information received from eagle-eyed locals they subsequently arrested a man from the northside of Cork City.
Inspector Tony Sugrue confirmed the man, aged in his 30s, was arrested and taken to Kanturk Garda Station where he was questioned for a number of hours.
He was released without charge and gardaí are now preparing a file for the DPP.
Insp Sugrue said a number of locals had taken a description of a suspicious car in the area and, more importantly, had also noted its registration number.
Insp Sugrue said gardaí had set up extra checkpoints in recent times in the north-west Cork area in an effort to deter criminals.
“The checkpoints have been successful in detecting known travelling criminals,” he added.
Insp Sugrue thanked locals for their help following the incident and asked that people continue to keep a close eye out in rural areas, especially when it comes to elderly neighbours.
“We are asking people to remain vigilant,” he said.
“They should take details of suspicious people or vehicles. In the case of suspicious vehicles it’s important that they take down the full registration number if they can and report it immediately to their local gardaí,” Insp Sugrue added.