A charity shop worker suffered head injuries as she was robbed of the daily takings, a court heard.
Christopher Taylor, 32, was jailed for the attack on Heather Wilby as she was about to bank takings from the Scope shop in Morley.
Leeds Crown Court heard Ms Wilby was the assistant manager of the shop on Queen Street and was targeted by Taylor as she took a cash box to the HSBC bank at 5pm on November 28 last year.
Taylor grabbed the box as she was about to put it into the nightsafe. Ms Wilby struggled with Taylor and shouted at him to let go but was struck in the face by him.
She then fell to the ground and hit her head and needed medical treatment for concussion.
Taylor ran off with the cash box, which contained £166, and was chased by members of the public who saw the incident.
Taylor was arrested and said he robbed the woman after spotting her while he was standing waiting for a bus.
Marie Austin-Walsh, prosecuting, said Taylor also stole £220 worth of Turkish lira from Ramsdens pawn brokers in Morley on October 31.
The court heard Taylor went into the shop to cash a cheque and managed to reach under a counter and grab the currency when no one was looking.
A member of staff spotted the offence after checking CCTV when Taylor had left.
When he was interviewed by police about that offence he told officers he had exchanged the lira for pounds at another shop and then spent most of it on drugs.
Taylor, of Melbourne Street, Morley, pleaded guilty to robbery and burglary.
Craig Sutcliffe, mitigating, said Taylor was disgusted with himself after learning that the money he took in the robbery was from a charity shop.
He added that Sutcliffe was desperate for cash in the run-up to Christmas.
Recorder Michelle Heeley jailed Taylor for two years and eight months.
She said: “You were prepared to use whatever force it took to get that money.
“Can you imagine from her point of view how terrifying that must have been.
“The streets need protecting from that sort of behaviour.
“I would be failing in my public duty if I did not sentence you to an immediate term of imprisonment.”