Karen Murray, 50, stole a number of memorial items including ornaments, plant pots and artificial flowers from a churchyard in Filey over a three-month period.
Police in North Yorkshire began receiving reports that small items of great sentimental value had gone missing from a number of gravesides at St Oswald's Church at the beginning of June, last year.
As a result, patrols were stepped up with officers and PCSOs checking the area day and night.
It wasn't until they received information from the community that Murray was arrested three months later.
She was charged with 13 thefts and a number of items were recovered from her home.
The 50-year-old appeared at Scarborough Magistrates Court this week and was jailed for 20 weeks.
Magistrates said her offences were so serious because she had "returned time and time again".
The magistrates said: “The court has heard and read the victim personal statements describing the impact of your offending on them. There has been very significant additional harm caused to the victims, highly personal items taken which cannot be replaced.
“The victims felt violated, and felt despair that they were personally targeted. There was a lack of respect shown. You have shown no remorse and no victim empathy and you continue to abdicate responsibility. A community order cannot be justified and could not provide sufficient restriction on your liberty.”
PC Mark Walton, of North Yorkshire Police, added: “The victims of these crimes have taken great courage to come forward to the police, having to re-live the loss of their loved-ones.
“Now, those victims have received the result they have been waiting for, and the courts have clearly seen the impact that these crimes have had.”