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.

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