CHESTER, PA. — A man with Cecil County ties has been captured after he allegedly broke into his adoptive mother’s home — she is 80 years old — bound her to a chair with duct tape and robbed her, according to the Pennsylvania State Police.
Investigators arrested the suspect, Christopher Dougherty, 45, in Chester, Pa., without incident at approximately 5 p.m. on Thursday, one week after he allegedly had committed the home invasion, reported PSP Trooper Jessica Tobin, a public information officer who is assigned to that agency’s Troop K in Media, Pa.
“We picked him up on a tip that we had received,” Tobin told the Cecil Whig on Friday. (Additional details of Dougherty’s arrest were unavailable at that time, she reported.)
Facing numerous felony charges, Dougherty remained in the Delaware County Prison in lieu of $500,000 cash bond on Friday, after his arraignment, according to Tobin.
PSP investigators had been searching for Dougherty for seven days, before a tip from someone in the community led troopers to him in Chester on Thursday night.
Police allege that Dougherty, armed with a hammer, forcefully entered his adoptive mother’s residence in Middletown Township (Delaware County) at approximately 6:30 p.m. on Feb. 11, bound her to a chair with duct tape and stole about $1,500 in cash, her cell phone and her car keys, before fleeing in her red 2002 Buick Century.
Investigators recovered the stolen car on Tuesday, police reported.
While Dougherty was on the lam, investigators asked for the public’s help in locating him. They posted a photo of Dougherty, along with a description of him and information about his alleged crime, on social media. In that bulletin, which included contact information for citizens to leave tips, investigators listed Elkton and Rising Sun as two of the places where Dougherty has ties. Investigators reported “Peter Franco” as Dougherty’s alias in that notice.
The wanted-person bulletin also included this caution: “If seen, please call 911 and do not approach, as Dougherty was described by the victim as having violent tendencies.”
A search of Cecil County Circuit and District Court records dating back to 2010 indicate that Dougherty was placed on 18 months of supervised probation in April 2018, after he pleaded guilty to possession of a concealed and dangerous weapon relating to a May 2014 incident. As part of that plea agreement, prosecutors dismissed a related handgun in vehicle charge in exchange for Dougherty’s guilty plea, court records show.