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updated: 6/13/2013 8:41 AM

3-year sentence for man who ditched restaurant tab

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Associated Press

CHARLESTON -- A Mattoon man was sentenced to three years in prison after authorities say he skipped out on a $70 restaurant bill after ordering an appetizer, drinks and an entree.

Anthony M. Malabehar, 47, pleaded guilty to felony theft charges after authorities say he didn't pay for his meal at the Alamo Steak House in Mattoon.

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Authorities tell the Mattoon Journal-Gazette that the April theft took place about a month after Malabehar was convicted of a similar theft from another eastern Illinois restaurant.

Prosecutors say he was charged with a felony because of his previous criminal record includes other theft convictions.

An assistant state's attorney in Coles County says Malabehar told restaurant workers he couldn't pay the bill and then waited for police to arrive at each eatery.

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