By the time patrol officers arrived, the vehicle was gone but was spotted soon after at a gas station by troopers. The chase was on, with speeds exceeding 100 mph before it ended some 20 miles later.
Pasco County, Fla., Sheriff Chris Nocco said Wednesday he was not surprised the Doughertys, whom he described as “street-smart criminals," had made it as far as Colorado.
The trio's alleged crime spree began last Tuesday in Pasco County when they fired about 20 shots at a police officer pursuing them in central Florida. One of the bullets pierced the officer’s tire, causing a flat and ending the pursuit.
“These three were very, very dangerous,” said Nocco, adding that authorities were looking to "connect the dots" on other possible crimes they may have committed while on the run. "They’ve committed numerous crimes in the past".
Nocco said the heavily armed siblings, who, according to Pueblo sheriff's deputies were seen trying to buy ammunition at a Walmart hours before being apprehended, were "prepared for battle."
The Doughertys, of Lacoochee, Fla., exhibited a flair for the melodramatic during their week-long run, with one of the siblings sending a text message to their mother saying, "There's a time for all of us to die." Authorities said the trio ignored their mother's pleas to turn themselves in.
Lee Grace Dougherty stated on her Flickr.com profile she loved to "farm and shoot guys and wreck cars." She described herself as a "redneck and proud of it" who enjoyed "German engineering" and "causing mayhem with my siblings." She was wanted for a probation violation.
The FBI said the siblings decided to leave Lacoochee following the Aug. 1 sentencing of Ryan Dougherty, set to register as a sex offender and serve 12 years probation for sending nearly 400 sexually explicit text messages to an 11-year-old girl he met online.
Before the bank robbery, Dougherty cut off his ankle monitor, authorities stated.
FBI Special Agent Phil Niedringhaus said the three face federal warrants in Florida and Georgia and charges were also expected in Colorado. Officials had not decided how to handle extradition.
-- AJC staff writer Christopher Seward and the Associated Press contributed to this report.