DNA From Ski Mask Links Man to 2010 Armed Robbery: Police

Police say DNA recovered from a discarded ski mask has been linked to Rodney Amos Chery, 24, who is charged in the 2010 armed robbery of a McDonald's restaurant.

Note: This article has been updated and corrected. An earlier published version gave Rodney Amos Chery's age as 22, but records indicate he is 24 years old.

More than two years after it occurred, Hellertown Police say the brazen early morning armed robbery of the borough's McDonald's has been solved.

In a press release Monday, police said forensic analysis by Pennsylvania State Police of a black ski mask that was found after the robbery yielded a DNA sample from saliva.

The DNA was subsequently matched to that of Rodney Amos Chery, 24, no address provided, who has admitted to robbing the restaurant, police said.

Police said a search warrant was later executed and a DNA sample obtained directly from Chery to confirm the match.

After the match was confirmed, Chery was charged with robbery, conspiracy to commit robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, criminal trespassing, theft, receiving stolen property, possession of instruments of a crime, terroristic threats and recklessly endangering another person.

He was arraigned Feb. 25, according to online court records.

Chery is currently in custody at Northampton County Prison, while an alleged accomplice--identified as Alvenio Dion Culpeper, 47, no address provided--is incarcerated in the state prison at Graterford, police said in the press release.

Police said Chery told them that he and Culpeper planned and committed the robbery together.

Culpeper faces the same list of charges as Chery, according to police.

Authorities gave the following account of the events of Nov. 14, 2010, which was when officers responded to the McDonald's for a report of an armed robbery "that had just occurred" shortly after 4am:

"Hellertown Police arrived on scene and spoke with [a] McDonald's employee, and he stated that he was just robbed by two males that were wearing dark clothing and black masks. The employee stated that the two males came out of the woods and pointed handguns at him and order [sic] him to take them to the safe. The employee stated he opened the safe and the one male took $2,144.45 of U.S. currency out of the safe. The employee stated that both of the males took off out of the store."


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