Man Gets 3 Years for Failing to Pay $70 Restaurant Bill

An Illinois man will serve three years in prison for failing to pay his restaurant tab, which totaled $70. Anthony M. Malabehar, 47, was sentenced after it was discovered that he had a history of stealing meals from the restaurant.

Malabehar reportedly ordered a meal totaling $70 from the Alamo Steak House in Ill. but skipped out on paying the bill. Police discovered that he had a history of failing to pay his bills at restaurants as well as a criminal past of theft and property offense convictions.

He could have received a six-year sentence because of his earlier convictions but the judge settled on a three-year sentence. Malabehar never explained why he stole the meals but merely waited for police to arrive after telling restaurant employees that he couldn't pay his bill. In addition to the prison time, Malabehar was ordered to pay his bill to the Steak House and a $100 fine.

Malabehar's criminal record included 13 prior convictions for theft or burglary and nearly 70 arrests for theft. He had only been out of jail for one day before being arrested at the Steak House, which was ironic given that he was in jail for doing the exact same thing at a different restaurant.

Many have wondered whether Malabehar is mentally ill or needs a home, given his tendency to re-enter the prison after release.

"This man clearly likes being in jail and when he is released, he commits a crime that he thinks is harmless enough but serious enough to get him arrested and sent to jail again," noted CNN reader VeryLadyLike.

"Sounds like a mental health issue," added Journal Gazette & Times-Courier reader gringa. "Now this guy gets a free hot meal and cot from the taxpayers for three years at a total cost of around $100,000."

Malabehar will be eligible for parole in approximately one year, according to Coles County Assistant States Attorney Rob Scales.