But I can't understand why you should give an award to a petty thief. The legal system is weak, yes. Big thieves should be punished big time. But that doesn't mean you can just forgive small thieves. Because thief is thief, regardless of the scale of the theft.
A sympathy for an old woman who "were forced by situation to steal something almost worthless" might sound just. But giving her an award is I think just too much. You're sending a very wrong signal to the populace.