Winne Cash, aged 46, targeted the 73-year-old woman after she got off a bus and watched as she made her way home before rushing her to steal her handbag as the victim tried to get into her house.
Cash, of Blessington Rd, Tallaght, Dublin, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to stealing the bag and trespassing on the curtilage of a house at Main St, Baldoyle, on November 23, 2015.
She has 234 previous convictions, 165 of which are for road traffic offences.
Judge Melanie Greally noted that a three-year sentence for burglary had been imposed on Cash in 2013 and surmised she would not have been out of prison for long at the time of this offence.
Judge Greally imposed a four-year sentence and suspended the final year.
Garda Cian Daly told Martina Baxter, prosecuting, that the elderly woman was returning home that evening from visiting her brother in hospital and she noticed a car with two women in it stopped at lights. She thought she noticed one of the women laughing at her.
Gda Daly said CCTV from the area revealed the car, which Cash was driving, drove in a loop of the area and repeatedly pulled in and drove on as the woman made her way slowly to her home.
As the woman started to open her front door she heard her gate opening and was rushed by two women.
Her bag, containing a small amount of cash, was taken from her walking frame.
Gardai linked the car with Cash and she was arrested. She told gardaí she did not get out of the car and that her accomplice had taken the bag although the woman’s account described Cash taking the bag.
John Griffin, defending, said Cash wanted to convey her apologies to the victim.