Man charged with robbing Loop restaurant worker during his smoke break

Kamaree Vance is accused of robbing a man who was on a smoke break from his job at Half Sour. | CPD; Google

When two men threatened to “blow away” a Loop restaurant worker as they robbed him during his smoke break this week, the victim refused to cooperate and demanded to see the offender’s gun, prosecutors said.

He never saw their gun, but he did get punched in the face a couple of times.

Prosecutors on Wednesday filed charges against one man in connection with the hold-up.

Around 8 p.m. Monday, the 30-year-old victim stepped into an alley in the 700 block of South Clark to smoke a cigarette behind Half Sour, the restaurant where he works. Two men walked up to him, and Kemaree Vance, 18, sat down next to the alleged victim and bumped him, according to Assistant State’s Attorney Jocelyn Schieve.

Vance put an object behind the victim’s ear, ordered him to start walking, and threatened to “blow the victim away with his big gun,” Schieve said.

But the victim refused and challenged Vance to show him the gun he intended to use, she said. Vance allegedly responded by punching him in the face.

Meanwhile, the other offender noticed the victim was holding a bottle in one hand and told the victim that Vance would shoot him if he tried to use the bottle as a weapon, according to Schieve.

Then, Vance punched the victim in the face again, went through the man’s pockets, and took his keys, Schieve said. Both assailants then left the scene.

Police searched the area for people who matched the descriptions given to them by the restaurant worker, and they found Vance nearby. Prosecutors said the victim identified him as the primary offender and specifically recognized Vance’s eyes and voice, Schieve said. Cops said Vance had the victim’s keys.

Prosecutors charged Vance with aggravated robbery and possession of a controlled substance for 30 benzodiazepine pills that police allegedly found in his possession.

Vance, who turned 18 in September, has no criminal history, Schieve said. Judge Susan Ortiz set his bail at $10,000 and ordered him to go onto electronic monitoring if he can post a $1,000 deposit bond to get out of jail.

Employees of other downtown restaurants have reported similar robbery encounters in recent weeks, but Vance is not charged with any of those.

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CWBChicago was created in 2013 by five residents of Wrigleyville and Boystown who had grown disheartened with inaccurate information that was being provided at local Community Policing (CAPS) meetings. Our coverage area has expanded since then to cover Lincoln Park, River North, The Loop, Uptown, and other North Side Areas. But our mission remains unchanged: To provide original public safety reporting with better context and greater detail than mainstream media outlets. Our editorial email address is