Two men allegedly conspired to steal cartons of Newport cigarettes from the Wawa at 981 North Wales Road in Montgomery Township on Sept. 15, and were later apprehended by police a short time later with crack paraphernalia on them, police said.
Michael Allen Robertson, 47, of the 2300 block of N. Cleavland Street, Philadelphia, and Kenneth A. Robinson, 50, of an apartment on the 100 block of S. Second Street, Perkasie, Bucks County, were each charged with felony conspiracy to commit retail theft, felony conspiracy to receive stolen property, misdemeanor theft, and six misdemeanor counts of possession of drug paraphernalia, according to court records. Robertson has an additional charge of felony false identification to police for allegedly providing a fake name, police said.
Both men remain jailed at Montgomery County Correctional Facility on $10,000 cash bail each, per court records. A preliminary hearing is set for both Oct. 2 at 1:30 p.m. before District Judge Andrea Duffy.
On Sept. 15 at 5:28 p.m., a Montgomery Township officer responded to the Wawa at 981 North Wales Road for a report of a theft in progress.
Montgomery County dispatch advised that two black males had attempted to steal cigarettes and fled the store on foot, police said, last seen traveling westbound on Horsham Road.
The officer located the two suspects, identified as Robinson and Robertson, near Planet Fitness at Water Tower Square shopping center.
Police stopped Robinson on the north sidewalk of Horsham Road, and Robinson was spotted by officers allegedly crawling between a row of bushes in the parking lot of the gym, police said. The officer walked Robinson up to the bushes and removed Robertson from his hiding spot.
Robinson allegedly gave police a Pennsylvania ID, and was warned by officers that he would be charged with false identification to law enforcement if he gave inaccurate information to his identity, according to the affidavit.
Robertson, police said, then said his name was Lyonel Lawrence, with a date of birth of April 6, 1958, police said. That information was false.
Both were allegedly in possession of crack pipes, push rods for the pipes and steel wool filters, which are all used to smoke crack, police said.
Police met with the employee from Wawa who called police on the alleged theft. The employee told police she was behind the counter where the cigarettes are located, when she was allegedly approached by Robinson, who asked numerous questions about ice cream, police said. Robinson eventually convinced the employee to walk away from the register to help him.
At that time, Robertson went behind the counter and allegedly took five cartons of Newports, valued at $325, police said.
A customer in the store alerted an employee, who confronted Robertson in an aisle, police said. Robertson allegedly placed two cartons of Newports in a black plastic bag and the other three on a shelf with potato chips, police said.
The employee told a co-worker to call 911 and both men then allegedly fled the store, police said.
Video surveillance captures Robertson allegedly committing the theft, police said.
The employee was transported to Planet Fitness, where she positively identified both Robinson and Robertson as the suspects in the alleged theft, police said.