Anthony M. Malabehar finished a sumptuous meal that included crab, lobsters and dessert and then announced that he had no money to pay the $69.27 tab.
He was arrested, pleaded guilty and earlier this month was sentenced to three years in prison.
In delivering the prison term, the judge took into consideration that Malabehar, 47, of Mattoon, Ill., had 70 prior arrests. He also had been released from jail the day before his meal for not paying at another restaurant.
Malabehar made his menu choices at the Alamo Steakhouse on April 4.
"He ordered a filet, snow crab, lobster pinches, snickers pie, two shots of rumple minz, and a Mike's hard lemonade," a spokeswoman for Alamo Steak House said.
But when the check came for $69.27, he refused to pay.
"He came up to the server and said 'Let me let you in on a secret, I don't have any money," she said. "So the server went to the manager, who called the police. The police informed the manager that this guy has been going all over town and eating at restaurants without paying."
Malabehar had been arrested once earlier this year on Feb. 2 for eating at a restaurant without paying, according to Illinois records.
"The police told the manager to keep the man in the restaurant and that they would come," the spokeswoman said.
When the police arrived Malabehar told the officers he had ordered food at the restaurant knowing that he would not be able to pay, according to a police report obtained by ABC News.
Malabehar was arrested and charged with burglary, the report said. He pleaded guilty to theft on June 6.
"The initial charge was burglary," said Robert Scales, the first assistant state attorney for Illinois. "As part of a June 6 plea agreement, the charge was changed to theft with the prior conviction of theft."
Malabehar received the three-year sentence because of his prior convictions.
"Before this incident, Malabehar has been charged with either burglary or theft 13 times. He has been arrested approximately 70 times," Scales said.
It is still unclear why Malabehar committed the theft at Alamo Steak House.
"He never gave an explanation," Scales said. "But what concerned us is that he had served two months in jail for the February theft and then, one day after being released, he did it again."