Lee Grace Dougherty: who is woman involved in sibling crime spree?

2:25 PM, Aug 9, 2011   |    comments
A picture from Lee Grace E. Dougherty's flickr web page. Dougherty and her two brothers are accused of shooting at a Zephyrhills police car and robbing a Georgia bank.
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Merritt Island, Florida -- A band of siblings is wanted in a crime spree in which the three are accused of shooting at a Zephyrhills police cruiser last week and robbing a Georgia bank five hours later, according to the FBI.

Lee Grace E. Dougherty, 29 -- along with her brother, 21-year-old Ryan Edward Dougherty, and her half-brother, 26-year-old Dylan Dougherty Stanley -- would face charges of attempted murder on a law enforcement officer and armed robbery. Warrants for their arrests are active.

Photo Gallery: Pictures of the Dougherty Gang

Lee Grace Dougherty, who had been living near Sykes Creek on Merritt Island, has a criminal record in Brevard County.

She was charged in May with multiple felonies and misdemeanors after a South Brevard traffic crash, according to court records.

Our news partners Florida Today report she was convicted of driving under the influence with property damage or personal injury, a first-degree misdemeanor. Other charges against her, including battery on a law enforcement officer and resisting an officer with violence, were dismissed.

On Lee Grace's flickr page, she describes herself as being "28 but act like I'm 17 most of the time. I love to farm and shoot guys and wreck cars. I'm a redneck and proud of it. I like milk and German engineering and causing mayhem with my siblings."

Brendon Bookman, Lee Grace's boyfriend, says she worked as a dancer at the Cheaters strip club in Cocoa Beach.

"I would prefer to see her living than not living, but it's very difficult for me to imagine the three of them wanting to live the rest of their life in a cage," Bookman said.

Multi-state crime spree

The latest "mayhem" that the siblings are accused of  starting began about 7 a.m. on August 2nd. That's when an officer from the Zephyrhills Police Department tried to stop a white 2006 Subaru Impreza for speeding. An ensuing hail of gunfire -- 20 shots -- disabled the patrol car after a 5-mile chase.

Video from the police car was released Monday, showing the sedan with a New York tag of FBE5900 traveling at speeds of 100 mph.

The FBI said the three then drove northward on Interstate 75.

Just after noon Aug. 2, a similar sedan pulled up to a Certus Bank in Valdosta, Ga. -- also along Interstate 75. Three people dressed in masks and armed with an assault rifle and a machine pistol entered the bank and shot into the ceiling, an FBI statement said. They left with cash.

Photo Gallery: Georgia Bank Robbery Surveillance Images

"It sure seems like they have a death wish," Valdosta Police Cmdr. Brian Childress told the Associated Press on Monday. "We're just hoping they surrender, and they do it peacefully so no one gets hurt."

Ryan Dougherty recently was required to register as a sex offender after a conviction of sending sexually explicit text messages to an 11-year-old girl in Volusia County. His sentence of 12 years on probation might have prevented him from seeing his child, and investigators think that might have started the crime spree.

False alarm in Nashville

Meanwhile a Lee Grace Dougherty sighting in Tennessee turned out to be a false alarm.

"It was a case of mistaken identity,'' Metro Police spokesman Don Aaron told The Tennessean. "The maintenance staff called police because the woman strongly resembled the woman who is being sought.''

Staffers told police the woman was staying in an apartment while the tenant was away.

A SWAT team moved in Tuesday morning and surrounded the building. The woman was questioned by police, along with another person who was staying with her. Investigators say at this time, they see no connection with them and the sibling fugitives.

Reached by telephone Monday night, FBI Special Agent Stephen Emmett said the Doughertys are committed to each other as siblings and that it's dangerous for any law enforcement officer to approach them.

Their mother, Barbara Bell of East Palatka, told The AP that she hoped the three would surrender.

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