While the FBI refuses to compare Lee Grace Dougherty (29) and her brothers Dylan (26) and Ryan (21) to any type of modern day Bonnie and Clyde (and Clyde), the comparison is hard to miss. The three siblings recently engaging in a shoot out with a Florida police officer, took over and robbing a south Georgia Bank, and fled with a number of guns and the loot from their bank job. Two of the three fugitives fired 20 shots at the police car that chased them at speeds up to 100 mph. In that case they shot out a tire on the police car, ending the chase. They also fired shots inside the CertusBank in Valdosta, Georgia, during the robbery, so the lack of injuries can only be attributed to dumb luck and not concern on the part of the three masked robbers. Now police officers and FBI Agents all across the USA are looking for the siblings on the run, now known as "the Dougherty Gang," just like those officers and Agents 77 years ago pursued the real Bonnie (Parker) and Clyde (Barrow) and other members of their gang of robbers and thieves. In the case of the "Barrow Gang," they were believed responsible for the deaths of at least nine police officers and a number of citizens before Bonnie and Clyde were ambushed and killed on May 28, 1934.
Women who Rob Banks - When asked what she did, Bonnie Parker is reputed to have said, "We rob banks." The FBI has acknowledged that the number of female bank robbers has increased approximately 6% in recent years, but most of today's female bank robbers do so with a demand note and not a gun, usually with the proceeds, if they escape, used to feed their drug habits. Lee Dougherty, the older of the three and their likely leader, recent job credits included working as an "eotic dancer" at a Coco Beach club. (H-m-m-m, a stripper with a machine gun...) She had, until recently, been living with an older college professor in the Orlando area. That's when she took up the call of robbery and car chases with her two siblings, but she, like her two younger brothers, was no angel at the time. Lee Grace had charges pending against her for a hit and run and other vehicle and traffic violations, was wanted on a parole violation, and had indicated on a web site that "she liked to shoot guys and wreck cars" and enjoyed "causing mayhem with her siblings."
Brother Ryan was recently convicted of sending over 400 sexually explicit messages to an 11-year-old girl and was a registered sex offender. It was his electronic monitoring ankle bracelet that he cut from his leg and left at the scene of the first shooting that helped lead authorities to the identities of the three. It was also Ryan who purchased an AK-47 assault rifle two years ago, one that appears to be the weapon of choice for one of the robbers in last Tuesday's bank robbery, the other being a machine pistol. Ryan's attorney suggested that he appeared to live in a fantasy world and had the maturity of a 15-year-old, probably his excuse for having a computerized sexual affair with the 11-yearold girl. Brother Stanley also has an arrest history, shared his siblings love of guns, and until recently al three hung out in a sophisticated underground bunker built beneath their Florida residence where some suspect they conducted drug related activities.
For their part, the FBI and multiple law enforcement agencies are employing many modern techniques in an attempt to bring the three to justice before they hurt someone or force law enforcement into a deadly shootout. Ryan, who has at least 14 felony arrests in the past four years, was sentenced last Monday to 10 years probation and two years community control monitoring for his actions toward the 11-year-old girl, a sentence that required him to wear the electronic monitoring bracelet on his ankle. It was then that he sent his mother a text message stating "There's a time for all of us to die."
Using electronic bulletin boards across a dozen states, the pictures of the three look down upon millions of drivers, and while they may currently be enjoying their fame, they are not experienced fugitives and they will likely soon be tracked down, noting tips today suggested the trio had been sighted in nearby Tennessee. These are not experienced fugitives, just wreckless 20-somethings armed to the teeth and willing to shoot. When located they will not be confronted by a single patrol officer, but by police and FBI SWAT teams. At that time they will be given two choices: surrender or die. At that moment they, like Bonnie and Clyde and so many dangerous criminals before them, will have to make a choice, and, like Ryan wrote to their mother, decide if that day was actually a good day to die. Their mother has begged them to surrender. We can only hope they listen to her and choose to live.
For more information concerning personal and family safety and security, to obtain a free copy of our DVD "Protecting Children from Predators," and to find out the identity and location of sex offenders in your community, go to www.LiveSecure.org.