Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Dougherty Gang

Disappear

  

For the first six days after the bank robbery, no one had heard from or saw the siblings, despite the national media going whole hog with Dougherty Gang coverage, and despite having their faces plastered all over billboards around the country giving numbers to tip lines urging people to call in a sighting.

Billboard showing Doughertys and contact information
Billboard showing Doughertys and contact information

There was one case of mistaken identity when a tipster thought they'd seen the trio in Tennessee, but that proved to be wrong. On Tuesday, August 9, a week after the crime spree had begun, Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco made the talk show rounds, appearing on the Early Show, Fox News, Inside Edition, Good Morning America, CBS, and CNN, among others and told the public to look out for the gang.

It worked. Later that day at 1:30 p.m., police in Colorado Springs, Colo. received a hopeful tip—the trio were possibly in the area near Woodmen and I-25, shopping for camping gear at REI. Someone recognized them and called it in. Only one significant detail had changed—the white car now sported Texas plates, instead of New York plates.

Because of the nature of their purchases, it seemed like the Doughertys were looking to stay off the grid and out of sight, so police and FBI focused their manhunt on campgrounds.

Their hunch turned out to be right. The next day, Wednesday, August 10, the trio were spotted in Colorado City near a campground off Highway 165. Another camper noticed the car and called it in. In short order, the cops were on their way.

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