Two men, including a dining hall employee, were charged with aggravated robbery after a cafeteria manager at Loyola University Chicago was held at gunpoint early Friday and forced to hand over money from a safe, police and prosecutors said.

Rodrick L. Moore, 31, and Martell Howze, 25, each face two counts of aggravated robbery and one count of aggravated kidnapping in connection with the 2:30 a.m. incident at the Damen Student Center, 6511 N. Sheridan Road, in the Rogers Park neighborhood. Moore, who police reports say threatened the worker and took the money, faces a second count of aggravated kidnapping.

Cook County Criminal Court Judge Laura Marie Sullivan ordered Moore held in lieu of $150,000 bail in a hearing Saturday in Cook County Bond Court. Howze, who prosecutors said worked at the cafeteria and spent months planning the heist with Moore, did not appear in court.

According to his arrest report, Moore approached the 39-year-old cafeteria worker and displayed what appeared to be a handgun after the dining center had closed. He then grabbed the woman by the arm and placed the supposed gun to her head, forcing her to remove more than $2,800 and place it in his backpack. Moore also took the worker’s cell phone and keys belonging to the university before fleeing, the report said.

The worker pulled a fire alarm to alert authorities to the crime, records show, and described the robber to Loyola police. Officers soon found Moore at the nearby Loyola Red Line "L" stop and he had the money from the safe in his backpack, prosecutors said.

Police found the weapon, which turned out to be a replica, and the keys and phone were found discarded at or near the station, according to the arrest report. Moore admitted to the robbery and was identified by the victim, police said.

While searching Moore’s possessions at the police station, officers found paperwork belonging to Howze that led them to believe he was a co-conspirator. In court, prosecutors said the pair had been planning the robbery for months and that Howze, of the 200 block of East 89th Place, provided Moore with information about the building’s layout and tips for getting past security.
Moore, of the 6200 block of South Michigan Avenue, is due back in court Friday.

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