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Tuesday, 9 August 2011

thrill-seeking Florida stripper and her AK-47-toting siblings on a multistate crime spree yesterday ignored their heartsick mother's plea to give themselves up


14:01 |

thrill-seeking Florida stripper and her AK-47-toting siblings on a multistate crime spree yesterday ignored their heartsick mother's plea to give themselves up, authorities said.

The mom's appeal came as the FBI launched a nationwide manhunt for alleged "Dougherty Gang" bank robbers Lee Grace Dougherty, a 26-year-old exotic dancer; her brother Ryan Dougherty, 21; and their half-brother, Dylan Dougherty Stanley, 26.

"The only safe thing, the only right thing, the only good thing to do is turn yourselves in," Barbara Bell begged her kids.


BAD GIRL: Florida stripper Lee Grace Dougherty (above) and her two brothers have embarked on a wild crime spree, including shooting at a cop and robbing a Georgia bank at gunpoint, police say.

"Only Mom knows what good people you are inside," she said.

"Please prove me right . . .You've made some bad mistakes, but so far, no one has been physically harmed.

"I love you," she added.

The rampaging siblings have been on the lam since last Tuesday, when they allegedly opened fire on a Zephyrhills, Fla., cop who had been trying to chase down their white Subaru for speeding.

The cop wasn't hurt, but one of the 20 bullets they unleashed on him flattened one of his tires and effectively ended the chase.

Later that day, the Doughertys turned up about 200 miles away at a Georgia bank.

All three, masked and armed with AK-47s, shot up the bank ceiling before making off with an undisclosed amount of money, police said.

The siblings' faces are now plastered on billboards across the Southeast.

Lee Grace -- who works as a stripper at Cheaters in Cocoa Beach -- had also been wanted by police for a probation violation.

Like both her brothers, she has a rap sheet -- records show her most recent arrest was May 17, when she allegedly bashed up a car and left the scene.

The FBI believes the trio first tried to flee the highway cop because of Ryan Dougherty, who was sentenced Aug. 1 to 12 years of probation for sending nearly 400 sexually explicit text messages to an 11-year-old girl he met on MySpace.

As part of his plea deal, Ryan had been required to register as a sex offender -- which he had not yet done -- and did not want to risk going to jail because of it if caught, officials believe.

The Subaru that the three were driving in is registered in Troy, NY, to Amanda Suriano, who is due to give birth to Ryan's son Aug. 13, according to her online Target gift registry.

Suriano, who now lives in Florida, couldn't be reached, and relatives in Troy didn't return calls.

Police said the Doughertys have sent at least one text message to their mom while on the lam.

"There's a time for all of us to die," it read.

Lee Grace has previously boasted of her penchant for wreaking havoc, particularly with her brothers.

"I love to farm and shoot guys and wreck cars," she wrote on her Flickr.com profile page.

"I'm a redneck and proud of it, I like causing mayhem with my siblings."

A police search of an abandoned home that the Dougherty trio had recently shared turned up an expansive underground bunker. The siblings are believed to have a stockpile of weapons with them.

"I don't think this will end happily," said Lee Grace's fiancé of seven months, college math teacher Brendon Bookman.

Records show the twice-divorced Bookman, 43, was arrested on domestic-violence charges in May, the same day his fiancée was nabbed in the car-bashing incident.

Late yesterday, police were checking tips that the siblings' car had been seen in Forsyth, Ga., and Chattanooga, Tenn.


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