Champaign robber gets 22 years for restaurant holdup

URBANA — A Champaign man who admitted his role in a September restaurant holdup in Champaign has been sentenced to 22 years in prison.

Robert Lowenstein, 40, whose last known address was in the 400 block of South State Street, pleaded guilty before Judge Heidi Ladd on Tuesday to armed robbery.

He admitted that on Sept. 29, he drove the get-away car for another man who robbed two employees of Junior’s Burgers & Custard, 1511 W. Springfield Ave., C, while armed with a knife. The robbery happened about 11:45 a.m. No one was physically harmed.

Assistant State’s Attorney Adam Dill said a concerned citizen saw Lowenstein waiting in the car at a four-way stop at Westlawn and Healey. waving other drivers around him. He kept looking back at the restaurant, Dill said. That prompted the woman to call 911.

The other man who had gone in the business ordered the male and female employee to lock themselves in an office. He took about $1,200, Dill said, and got in the waiting car.

Using the woman’s description of the car, police were able to track the men within minutes to a South State Street apartment building.

The case against the second man, Scotty Richey, 52, of Gifford, is unresolved. He is due back in court Jan. 10.

Dill said Lowenstein had several prior convictions, including a 1996 conviction for rape and a 2009 conviction for theft for which he was on parole at the time of his arrest.
 

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