Skip to comments.Serial meal thief sentenced to 90 days
Posted on 01/24/2005 7:19:53 AM PST by Cagey
MACHIAS - Elias I. Elias had his restaurant routine perfected: Order dinner and drinks, eat and enjoy, then fake chest pains when the bill arrived in order to skip out on paying it. The 13th time Elias did that since 2003, the restaurateur in Calais didn't buy it. When he called for an ambulance, he also called the police. Friday in Washington County Superior Court, Elias pleaded guilty to a Class C charge of theft of services. Justice E. Allan Hunter sentenced Elias to 90 days in jail, following the recommendation of District Attorney Paul Cavanaugh.
Since coming to Maine from California in 2003, Elias, 54, of Bangor has made a habit of pretending to have heart attacks and trouble breathing - just when the check arrives after restaurant meals.
He has caused scenes in public dining rooms across at least three counties in Maine, announcing he has a pacemaker and needs medical assistance. He gets transported to the local hospital and usually leaves before the police arrive.After Elias nearly pulled off the same trick at the Townhouse Restaurant in Calais last Aug. 5, the Washington County prosecutor decided enough was enough.
"He has 18 convictions just since 2003," Cavanaugh told the court.
In courtrooms in Penobscot, Piscataquis and Hancock counties, Elias has pleaded guilty to 18 various misdemeanor charges, including false public report, criminal trespass and theft of services.
When members of the Washington County grand jury moved to indict Elias last month, they were aware that he had guilty convictions for three similar theft charges - two in Ellsworth just a year earlier and another in Bar Harbor in July.
When Cavanaugh did a more complete search, he came up with Elias' string of 18 convictions.
Elias' appointed attorney, Jeffrey Davidson of Cutler, told the court that the homeless and unemployed man just wanted to eat a restaurant meal "like anybody else."
In the Calais case, the bill came to $39, wine included.
"Even if he didn't have dignity, he wanted to feel like he did," Davidson said.
Except both restaurant staff and others enjoying dinner at the Townhouse Restaurant suspected that Elias was faking it from the moment he was asked to pay up.
The Calais Police Department was called. He was issued a summons while still at Calais Regional Hospital's emergency room.
He has been jailed numerous times in Penobscot, Piscataquis and Hancock counties. Now he's in jail in Machias. This time, Washington County is picking up the tab.
You just have to figure out a way to keep those whacky Californians from moving to Maine.
Hasn't this guy ever heard of Dine and Dash? Why go to all that trouble?
Lot of those Mainers look a lot like people from Kalifornia.
Oh Gawd. He's probably a Rat as well. This is pathetic.
"dine and dash"
At age 54 he probably can't run as fast as before.
Imagine the irony if he actually has a cardiac attack and someone recoginzes him and refuses to call an ambulance due to his prior cry wolf actions.
Denny Crane: "I look to two things: First to God and then to Fox News."
Feeeeeeliiiiiinnnnngs..........the liberals greatest need.......more important than honest labor and honest dealings...
So, even if I don't have wealth but I feel I should, I can rip off a fur from Neiman-Marcus? Great, I'm about 5 minutes from one.
It would have been easier to slip a dead cockroach from an envelope on to his plate with about 3 bites of food left, and then scream for the waiter and demand the plate be taken to the restaurant manager for him to see the unwelcome side dish.
I guarantee, most restaurant managers would make that meal on the house, and probably buy him a drink or two to wash down the bad memory.
There was another enterprising scammer back in the 80's, I heard about it from an Arby's roast beef restaurant manager, about a guy who used to come in not long after opening time, politely ask for the manager, tell a story about coming in with his family and friends the night before, everyone getting sick, and his wife being an attorney with the U.S. Justice Department madder than a wet hen. The guy would say "hey, we're all ok, no harm done, if you think a simple refund of the meal is justified, the wife will probably calm down".
The Arby's guy told me they estimated that the scammer hit every fast food restaurant from Allentown to Trenton to Philly, never getting less than $25 to $30 bucks a score.
The ingenuity of people never ceases to amaze me.
This guy will get plenty of free meals in jail.
California - the World capitol for people with champagne tastes and beer budgets.
He will have to provide his own whine.
Conviction is the best outcome for all, since now Elias will get free meals plus a place to stay!
Sounds like something the bundy's would do.
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