It all started with a black Marlins cap and ended with a gun permit application.
In just two days of investigation, Lansdale Police have arrested and charged cousins Gene “Ray” Kulp, 18 and Michael Anthony Creciun, 21, who both reside on the 500 block of Edgemont Avenue, in the Martin Luther King Jr. Day robbery of Hen's Coins and Collectables on West Main Street in Lansdale.
Both were arraigned before District Judge Henry Schireson of Narberth on the following charges:
- Three counts of felony robbery
- Three counts of felony conspiracy to commit robbery
- Felony theft
- Felony conspiracy to commit theft
- Felony aggravated assault
- Felony conspiracy aggravated assault
- Two counts misdemeanor simple assault
- Misdemeanor conspiracy simple assault
- Misdemeanor reckless endangerment
- Misdemeanor conspiracy to commit reckless endangerment
- Misdemeanor use of prohibited or offensive weapon
- Misdemeanor conspiracy to use a prohibited weapon
- Misdemeanor receiving stolen property
Creciun’s bail was set at $50,000 cash, police said. Kulp’s bail was set at $25,000 cash bail, police said.
Both were sent to Montgomery County prison.
A preliminary hearing in Lansdale is pending.
Creciun and Kulp were arrested by Lansdale Police officers following a directive from Chief Robert McDyre. McDyre informed his officers, including the Street Crimes Unit and Sgt. Ryan Devlin’s patrol squad, to put other assignments on hold and direct all resources into apprehending “those responsible for this heinous assault on our business community.”
Here’s how it all happened:
On Jan. 21, at 9:08 a.m., Lansdale Police responded to Hen’s Coins and Collectables at 308 W. Main St. for a reported hold-up alarm, police said.
Officers arrived and found owner Henry Statuti, 77, inside the store with injuries to his ear and neck, police said.
The owner told police that, between 8:45 and 9 a.m., a young male wearing a baseball hat entered the store and had small talk with him before asking about a coin in the display case, police said.
As the owner began unlocking the case, the man, later identified as Kulp, allegedly grabbed him from behind in a cross-forearm chokehold, police said.
Kulp then allegedly dragged Statuy by the neck to the rear office. Statuy told police he thought he was going to die.
As Kulp continued to allegedly drag the owner, Creciun entered the store, allegedly pulled out a knife and told the victim that he was an “old man” and that they did not want to kill an old man, police said.
While Creciun allegedly stood guard, Kulp went back to the retail area of the store and allegedly began taking items of value, police said.
Five minutes later, Kulp re-entered the office, police said. Kulp and Creciun then allegedly took the victim’s jacket off him and placed it over his face, police said.
The duo walked out and the owner activated the holdup alarm, police said.
At the scene, police recovered a black Miami Marlins hat, worn by Kulp, police said.
A hat worn by one of two males matched video surveillance footage from a nearby business, police said. The video showed two males matching descriptions of both suspects walking on Wood Street toward Main Street, prior to the robbery.
When investigators saw the video, they recognized Creciun from prior contacts, police said.
A second business provided surveillance video that showed both suspects allegedly fleeing the scene, carrying items from Hen’s, police said.
On Jan. 22, the victim was shown a suspect photograph lineup, and identified Creciun as the man with the knife, police said.
One hour later, and one day after the robbery, Creciun walked into Lansdale Police Department to fill out a gun permit, police said.
Creciun was taken into custody and admitted to his role in the robbery, police said.
Creciun also allegedly told police that some of the stolen items were at his house, police said.
While at Lansdale Police headquarters, Creciun received calls from a subject identified as “Ray,” police said.
Using cyber investigative efforts, detectives identified Kulp as a possible suspect, police said.
Judge Harold Borek signed a search warrant on Jan. 22. It was executed at 1:50 p.m. by detectives and patrol officers.
Stolen property from Hen’s was recovered from inside Creciun’s bedroom, police said.
Police discovered “Ray” was Creciun’s cousin, while they were at the residence, police said. Kulp arrived home during the search and spoke to police, where he allegedly admitted his involvement in the robbery, police said.
Police said Creciun had planned the robbery for weeks.
After the robbery, both suspects went to Acme on Welsh Road in Towamencin, police said. There, they allegedly cashed in several hundred dollars in stolen quarters, half dollars and silver dollars via Coin Star, police said.
Creciun had felony forgery and identity theft charges either withdrawn or dismissed at the county court of common pleas level in December 2012, according to court records.
Charges of obstructing justice, lying to police and felony hindering apprehension or prosecution were either withdrawn or not sought by prosecutors in county court of common pleas in December 2012.
Kulp has no criminal record in Pennsylvania, according to court records.