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‘Barefoot Bandit’ email ridicule police

By GENE JOHNSON, Associated Press
SEATTLE (AP) — “Barefoot Bandit” Colton Harris-Moore ridiculed police and prosecutors in emails and phone calls from prison recently, undercutting his claims that he's sorry for his two-year crime spree, the U.S. attorney's office said in court documents filed Tuesday.

 The 20-year-old, who awaits federal sentencing, referred to Island County Sheriff Mark Brown as the “king swine,” called prosecutors who handled his case “fools,” and referred to news reporters as “vermin.” The self-taught pilot bragged about his two-year crime spree, during which he hopscotched the U.S. in stolen cars, boats and small planes before being captured in the Bahamas in July 2010 a hail of bullets.

“The things I have done as far as flying and airplanes goes, is amazing,” he wrote in one email last August. “Nobody on this planet have done what I have, except for the Wright brothers.”

Federal prosecutors included excerpts from the emails and phone transcripts in a sentencing memorandum filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court. Harris-Moore was sentenced last month to more than seven years in prison for a long string of state crimes, mostly on his hometown of Camano Island and in the San Juan Islands, but he is still scheduled to be sentenced on Friday for federal crimes, including stealing a plane that belonged to a Bonners Ferry cattle rancher.

Prosecutors are seeking a six-and-a-half year sentence, the most they can ask for under the terms of Harris-Moore's federal plea deal. His lawyers asked for a sentence of just under six years in their own memorandum filed Tuesday. The plea deal calls for proceeds from a movie deal to be used to pay more than $1.2 million in restitution to his victims, and the judge can issue a sentence outside the plea deal's suggested range.

Emma Scanlan, one of Harris-Moore's lawyers, said the excerpts were cherry-picked from more than 700 pages of emails and phone transcripts. None of the excerpts suggests that Harris-Moore doesn't feel sorry for the people he victimized, she noted.

“Maybe he doesn't the like the sheriff's office, maybe he doesn't like the prosecutors,” Scanlan said. “But he's recognizing the most important group of people.”

Prosecutors said the excerpts offered a striking difference in tone to the apology letter Harris-Moore wrote to the state and federal judges handling his case. In the letter, he said he did not want to glamorize anything he had done, and he apologized profusely to his victims, saying he learned only too late of the fear he was instilling in them. He said his childhood — with an abusive, alcoholic mother and a series of her ex-con boyfriends — was one he would not wish on his “darkest enemies.”

He also wrote in the letter that he wanted to apologize to the Island County and San Juan County sheriffs' offices, “who I know were only doing their jobs.” In a monitored telephone call Dec. 9, a week before his sentencing, he said he wanted his supporters in the courtroom because “the more people I have from my camp the better, because that's just one less seat that will be filled by the media vermin or the swine, the king swine himself, Mark Brown.”

The judge who sentenced Harris-Moore in state court emphasized his difficult childhood, called his case “a triumph of the human spirit” and suggested it's remarkable that he didn't commit worse crimes, given his background.

In an email a few days after the sentence, Harris-Moore recounted the sentencing.

“When all the acting and spreading of high propaganda on the part of the state was over and my lawyers argued the true facts, the judge gave me a much-appreciated recognition and validation, calling my story a 'triumph of the human spirit,'” he wrote. “She wasn't having none of the weak argument the prosecution tried to peddle, and ended up handing down a sentence that was the lowest possible within the range. … Once again, I made it through a situation I shouldn't have.

Barefoot Bandit sentenced to 7+ years

Colton Harris-Moore, left, also known as the “Barefoot Bandit,” talks with his attorney, John Henry Browne, right, in Island County Superior Court today in Coupeville, Wash. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)


By GENE JOHNSON,Associated Press

COUPEVILLE, Wash. (AP) — The youthful thief who rocketed to international notoriety as the “Barefoot Bandit” while he evaded police in pilfered cars, boats and planes during a two-year crime spree was sentenced Friday to more than seven years in a Washington state prison after pleading guilty to dozens of charges.

Colton Harris-Moore, now 20, showed no reaction as the sentence was delivered by a judge who took pity on his bleak upbringing at the hands of an alcoholic mother and a series of her convict boyfriends — a situation she described as a “mind-numbing absence of hope.”

“This case is a tragedy in many ways, but it's a triumph of the human spirit in other ways,” Island County Judge Vickie Churchill said. “I could have been reading about the history of a mass murderer. I could have been reading about a drug abusive, alcoholic young man. That is the triumph of Colton Harris-Moore: He has survived.”

Harris-Moore's daring run from the law earned him international fame and a movie deal to help repay his victims after he flew a stolen plane from Indiana to the Bahamas in July 2010, crash-landed it near a mangrove swamp and was arrested by Bahamian authorities in a hail of bullets.

Friday's proceedings consolidated cases against Harris-Moore in three Washington counties. He has already pleaded guilty to federal charges in Seattle and will be sentenced for those crimes early next year, but the sentence is expected to be shorter than his state term.

Harris-Moore faced a sentencing range of just over seven years to just under 10 years.

“Colton's very pleased,” said his attorney John Henry Browne. “He was expecting the worst.”

Island County Prosecutor Greg Banks said he's glad the case is over and he could live with the sentence.

“I can see why people are sympathetic to him,” Banks said. “It's still a significant amount of time for someone who's never been in the adult system.”

Wearing handcuffs and an orange jail uniform, Colton Harris-Moore spoke softly in court while entering his pleas.

In a statement provided to the judge, he said his childhood was one he wouldn't wish on his “darkest enemies.”

Still, he said he takes responsibility for the crime spree that brought him international notoriety, and said he learned only too late of the fear he was instilling in his victims.

Harris-Moore said he studied manuals and online videos to teach himself to be a pilot, and the thrills he experienced while flying stolen planes renewed his passion for life and will help him rehabilitate while in prison.

“The euphoria of the countdown to takeoff and the realization of a dream was nearly blinding,” he wrote of his first illicit flight on Nov. 11, 2008. “My first thought after takeoff was 'Oh my God, I'm flying.' I had waited my entire life for that moment.”

He said he'll use his prison time to study and get ready to apply to college, with the hope of earning an aeronautical engineering degree.

Several victims and a few curious citizens watched Harris-Moore enter his pleas in Island County Superior Court, along with Harris-Moore's aunt.

Browne also said the young man's time on the run was horrific and included spending nights in culverts and portable toilets.

Harris-Moore's first conviction came at age 12, in 2004, for possession of stolen property, and according to the reports, his first experience with burglary came when he broke into the homes of his classmates to steal food because his mother spent most of her Social Security income on beer and cigarettes — something she has denied.

Over the next three years he was convicted of theft, burglary, malicious mischief and assault, among other crimes.

In 2007, the boy was sentenced to three years in a juvenile lockup after pleading guilty to three burglary counts in Island County. But he fled the minimum-security facility in April 2008 and was soon back to his old tricks, breaking into unoccupied vacation homes, stealing food and sometimes staying there.

As red-faced investigators repeatedly failed to catch him, his antics escalated: He began stealing planes from small, rural airports and crash-landing them — at least five in all.

Waves of burglaries broke out on Orcas Island, where Kyle Ater runs his Homegrown Market and Deli, in late 2009 and in early 2010, after stolen planes were found at the airport there. The second time, Harris-Moore left Ater's new security system in a utility sink, under a running faucet.

Harris-Moore's final spree came after he stole a pistol in eastern British Columbia and took a plane (pictured) from a hangar in Boundary County, Idaho, where investigators found bare footprints on the floor and wall. That plane, owned by a Bonners Ferry cattle rancher, crashed near Granite Falls, Wash., after it ran out of fuel.

He made his way to Oregon in a 32-foot boat stolen in southwestern Washington — stopping first to leave $100 at an animal shelter in Raymond, Wash. From Oregon, authorities said, Harris-Moore traveled across the United States, frequently stealing cars from the parking lots of small airports. In Indiana, he stole another plane and made for the Bahamas, more than 1,000 miles away, where authorities finally caught him in a manhunt that spanned multiple islands.

Among the courtroom spectators Friday were 18-year-olds Annie Cain and Hayley Hanna, who drove from nearby Langley to be at the courthouse at 5:30 a.m. — four hours before the hearing.

“We wanted to be here just because he's so young, and everything he did, it's fascinating,” Cain said.

Fox bought the movie rights in a deal that could be worth $1.3 million, and Dustin Lance Black, who won an Academy Award for writing the movie “Milk,” about the gay rights activist Harvey Milk, is working on the screenplay.

Harris-Moore doesn't get to keep any of the money under the terms of his federal plea deal.

Guilty, Shackled, No Longer Barefoot

The shackled and sandal-clad feet of Colton Harris-Moore are shown as Harris-Moore, who is also known as the “Barefoot Bandit,” walks into an Island County Superior Courtroom on today in Coupeville, Wash. Harris-Moore pleaded guilty Friday to burglary and theft charges in the Barefoot Bandit case. The 20-year-old softly answered affirmatively when the judge asked if he understood his rights. He said guilty when the judge asked how he wanted to plead. Story here. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Question: Anyone consider Colton Harris-Moore (aka “Barefoot Bandit”) to be a sort of anti-hero? And/or: Who will play Harris-Moore in the movie?

‘Barefoot Bandit’ to plead guilty today

In this Feb. 11, 2010 file photo provided by the Islands' Sounder newspaper, chalk drawings of bare feet are shown on the floor of the Homegrown Market on Orcas Island, Wash., after Colton Harris-Moore broke in overnight. (AP Photo/Courtesy Islands' Sounder, Meredith Griffith, File)

By GENE JOHNSON,Associated Press
SEATTLE (AP) — When Colton Harris-Moore broke into Kyle Ater's grocery store in Washington's serene San Juan Islands — the second time — he drew cartoonish bare feet and a three-letter message in chalk on the floor: “C-YA!”

 Turns out the Barefoot Bandit was right.

Harris-Moore, now 20, will see Ater and other victims today at Island County Superior Court, where he is expected to plead guilty to about 30 state felony charges arising from a two-year, cross-country crime spree in stolen planes, boats and cars.

 Harris-Moore's daring run from the law earned him international notoriety, not to mention a movie deal to help repay his victims, after he flew a stolen plane from Indiana to the Bahamas in July 2010, crash-landed it near a mangrove swamp and was arrested by Bahamian authorities in a hail of bullets.

“I want to see the phantom with my own eyes,” Ater said Thursday. “There were so many people affected by his crimes, and probably even some that don't know they were affected. They're still looking for their cell phone, or wondering why their propane bill was so high that month.”

Friday's proceedings before Judge Vickie Churchill consolidate cases against Harris-Moore in three Washington counties. He has already pleaded guilty to federal charges in Seattle and will be sentenced for those crimes early next year. He will serve his state and federal sentences at the same time. The federal charges included his theft of an airplane from the Boundary County Airport that belonged to a Bonners Ferry, Idaho, cattle rancher.

State prosecutors plan to ask for a nine-and-a-half year sentence Friday, while Harris-Moore's attorneys, John Henry Browne and Emma Scanlan, are seeking a six-year term, citing his bleak childhood in a Camano Island trailer with an alcoholic mother and a series of her convict boyfriends. They laid out the details of his upbringing in psychiatric and mitigation reports filed with the court.

“Colt blames no one but himself,” wrote Pamela L. Rogers, a mitigation investigator who reviewed Harris-Moore's case. “He made bad choices and takes full responsibility and expects to be held accountable for those bad choices. … He desperately hopes to one day have a career and a family and make contributions he can feel good about — and he's willing to work hard for that.”

Harris-Moore's first conviction came at age 12, in 2004, for possession of stolen property, and according to Rogers' report, his first experience with burglary came when he broke into the homes of his classmates to steal food because his mother spent most of her Social Security income on beer and cigarettes — something she has denied.

Over the next three years he was convicted of theft, burglary, malicious mischief and assault, among other crimes. At one point he was arrested when a detective posed as a pizza-delivery driver.

In 2007, the boy was sentenced to three years in a juvenile lockup after pleading guilty to three burglary counts in Island County. But he fled the minimum-security facility in April 2008 and was soon back to his old tricks, breaking into unoccupied vacation homes, stealing food and sometimes staying there.

As red-faced investigators repeatedly failed to catch him, his antics escalated: He began stealing planes from small, rural airports and crash-landing them — at least five in all.

“What was characterized by the media as the swashbuckling adventures of a rakish teenager were in fact the actions of a depressed, possibly suicidal young man with waxing and waning post-traumatic stress disorder (following his first plane crash in November 2008),” wrote Dr. Richard S. Adler, a psychiatrist who evaluated him for the defense lawyers.

Waves of burglaries broke out on Orcas Island, where Ater runs his Homegrown Market and Deli, in late 2009 and in early 2010, after stolen planes were found at the airport there. The second time, Harris-Moore left Ater's new security system in a utility sink, under a running faucet. He took cash and a tray of croissants, and Ater's insurance company jacked up his rates.

Mike Parnell, a former owner of the Oakley sunglasses company who lives on Orcas, was repeatedly victimized. Harris-Moore hid out for long periods in the second level of his hangar at the airport, and when Parnell and his family would go on trips in their plane, Harris-Moore would take their car to their house and eat their food. At one point, Harris-Moore entered their home while Parnell was there with his wife and three children and grabbed his wife's car keys off a counter.

“We were all fearing for our lives,” Parnell said Thursday. “The kids wouldn't sleep in their own bedrooms. We purchased night vision goggles. I'm glad that day is finally approaching when we will finally know what the consequences are, and I hope it's sufficient for the way our whole island suffered.”

Harris-Moore's final spree came after he stole a pistol in eastern British Columbia and took the plane from the hangar in Bonners Ferry, where investigators found bare footprints on the floor and wall. That plane crashed near Granite Falls, Wash., after it ran out of fuel.

He made his way to Oregon in a 32-foot boat stolen in southwestern Washington — stopping first to leave $100 at an animal shelter in Raymond, Wash. From Oregon, authorities said, Harris-Moore traveled across the United States, frequently stealing cars from the parking lots of small airports. In Indiana, he stole another plane and made for the Bahamas, more than 1,000 miles away, where authorities finally caught him in a manhunt that spanned multiple islands.

Fox bought the movie rights in a deal that could be worth $1.3 million, and Dustin Lance Black, who won an Academy Award for writing the movie “Milk,” about the gay rights activist Harvey Milk, is working on the screenplay. He's met with Harris-Moore several times at the Federal Detention Center in SeaTac, according to Lance Rosen, Harris-Moore's entertainment lawyer.

Harris-Moore doesn't get to keep any of the money under the terms of his federal plea deal.

Barefoot Bandit movie worth up to $1.3M

EVERETT, Wash. (AP) — The young man dubbed the Barefoot Bandit after a cross-country crime spree brought him folk outlaw status has reportedly signed a movie deal worth as much as $1.3 million with 20th Century Fox. 

The Daily Herald reports that the money will be used to help pay the minimum $1.4 million that 20-year-old Colton Harris-Moore owes in restitution to the victims of his two-year-long crime spree, which included the theft of a small airplane in Bonners Ferry.

Seattle entertainment lawyer Lance Rosen negotiated the deal on Harris-Moore's behalf. He says it's an unusual amount of money to be paid for anyone's life story rights.

Harris-Moore pleaded guilty in June to seven federal felony charges. Sentencing is set for October; he's expected to receive 5 to 6 years in prison He still faces state court charges.

Past coverage:

June 8: Fed balk at sale of Barefoot Bandit story

Barefoot Bandit faces 5-6 years in prison

John Henry Browne addresses the media after agreeing to a sentencing term with his client, Colton Harris-Moore on the steps of the Federal Office Building today in Seattle. (AP Photo/The Seattle Times, Greg Gilbert)

SEATTLE (AP) — The young Washington state man who gained international notoriety during a two-year run from the law in stolen boats, cars and planes pleaded guilty Friday to seven charges in the “Barefoot Bandit” case.

Under a plea agreement, Colton Harris-Moore would forfeit any future earnings from movie, book, or other deals from selling his story. Earnings would be used to pay off the $1.4 million in restitution he owes to his many victims.

Harris-Moore could receive between 5 1/4 and 6 1/2 years in prison when he's sentenced in October, defense attorney John Henry Browne said.

However, he still faces state charges in several counties, including the county where his crimes began. (He's pictured right in a sketch by Peter Millett.)

 Prosecutors have said Harris-Moore hopscotched his way across the United States, frequently crash-landing planes in rural areas and stealing cars from parking lots at small airports. His escapades earned him cult status as an authority-mocking folk hero, and he earned the “Barefoot Bandit” moniker by committing some of crimes without shoes.

Harris-Moore, now 20, smiled and greeted his lawyers as he entered the court room Friday. He sat quietly — sometimes smiling, sometimes holding his hands and looking down — as federal judge Richard Jones went over the details of the crimes.

“We're here today to say that Mr. Harris-Moore's flight from justice has ended,” U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan (pictured left with San Juan County prosecutor Randall Gaylord) said after the hearing. He will “spend a significant time in prison and will not make one dime from his crimes.”

The federal charges, which included stealing an aircraft, possession of firearms and piloting without a license, stemmed from a spate of crimes in late 2009 and early 2010, when Harris-Moore was accused of flying a stolen plane from Anacortes, in northwestern Washington, to the San Juan Islands.

Authorities say he later stole a pistol in eastern British Columbia and took a plane from a hangar in Bonners Ferry, Idaho, where investigators found bare footprints on the floor and wall. That plane crashed near Granite Falls, Wash., after it ran out of fuel, prosecutors said.

He made his way to Oregon in a 32-foot boat stolen in southwestern Washington — stopping first to leave $100 at an animal shelter in Raymond, Wash. From Oregon, authorities said, Harris-Moore traveled across the United States.

In Indiana, he stole another plane and made for the Bahamas, where he was captured last July.

Harris-Moore also faces several dozen charges in four Washington counties, with the most serious charge being burglary where a handgun was involved. Those charges will likely be consolidated and a hearing should take place in about a month, San Juan County prosecutor Randall K. Gaylord said.

Friday's agreement calls for Harris-Moore to serve his federal sentence concurrently with whatever prison time he may get from the state.

But the state charges could mean more time in prison beyond what the federal judge decides, as well as an increase in the restitution owed, according to federal and local prosecutors.

“All of this is up to the judge,” Browne said. “We're very hopeful it'll be around the same sentence.”

Browne added that Harris-Moore's story would attract enough attention to pay off all the restitution.

Asked what Harris-Moore plans to do after he's done with prison, Browne said that he'd like to go to college to study engineering.

‘Barefoot Bandit’ to plead guilty today

SEATTLE (AP) — The 20-year-old Washington state man known as the “Barefoot Bandit” was expected to plead guilty to criminal charges stemming from his 2-year run from the law in stolen boats, cars and planes, federal officials said Thursday.

Colton Harris-Moore will plead guilty today in federal court, the U.S. Attorney's Office in Seattle said. No further comment was provided.

Authorities say Harris-Moore hopscotched his way across the United States during his run, frequently stealing cars from parking lots after landing at small airports. In Indiana, he stole another plane and made for the Bahamas, where he was captured at gunpoint in a stolen boat last July.

Harris-Moore earned the “Barefoot Bandit” moniker by committing some of crimes without shoes. He pleaded not guilty to a federal indictment last week, but his lawyers had signaled that a deal with prosecutors was close. His charges include an allegation that he stole a small plane in Bonners Ferry, Idaho.

One of Harris-Moore's attorneys, Emma Scanlan, confirmed Thursday that he would plead guilty.

She declined to comment on the plea deal except to say it included a sentencing recommendation and resolves the question of whether he could participate in book or movie deals, with proceeds used to repay victims. Harris-Moore's lawyers have said restitution from his run would total about $1.3 million.

Harris-Moore's escapades earned him cult status as an authority-mocking folk hero, and federal prosecutors have expressed reluctance to let him sell his story because it could compound the publicity he's received.

The federal charges stem from a spate of crimes in late 2009 and early 2010, when Harris-Moore is accused of flying a stolen plane from Anacortes, in northwestern Washington, to the San Juan Islands. Authorities say he then stole a pistol in eastern British Columbia and took the plane from the Bonners Ferry airport, where investigators found bare footprints on the floor and wall. That plane crashed near Granite Falls, Wash., after it ran out of fuel, prosecutors say.

He made his way to Oregon in a 32-foot boat stolen in southwestern Washington — stopping first to leave $100 at an animal shelter in Raymond, Wash. From Oregon, authorities said, Harris-Moore hopscotched his way across the United States until he made it to the Bahamas

In all, Harris-Moore is suspected of more than 70 crimes across nine states.

Feds balk at sale of Barefoot Bandit story

SEATTLE (AP) — Plea negotiations involving the young man known as the “Barefoot Bandit” have hit a snag as federal prosecutors balk at letting him sell the rights to his sensational tale, even if money from movie or book deals is used to repay his victims, his attorney said today. 

Colton Harris-Moore, 20, led authorities on a two-year game of cat-and-mouse in stolen boats, planes and cars that finally ended with his arrest in the Bahamas last summer.

He earned the moniker by committing some of his crimes barefoot, his daring antics earned him a popular following, and plans for movies or books about the case are already in the works. One of his charges alleges he stole a small plane from the Bonners Ferry airport.

His lawyer, John Henry Browne, doesn't dispute the allegations.

He has long maintained that Harris-Moore has no interest in profiting from his crime spree but would be interested in selling his story if it meant his victims could be repaid.

Plea talks initially called for proceeds from such deals being turned over to a court-appointed special master who would dole out the money to victims. But in the last few days, prosecutors have said they're reluctant to let Harris-Moore sell his story at all, Browne said.

The U.S. attorney's office in Seattle did not return calls seeking comment. The office generally does not discuss plea negotiations; Browne said prosecutors have not made any final decision about the publicity rights.

“If the victims don't get paid, it's not going to be Colton's fault,” Browne said. “There are going to be movies and books about this case anyway, so the government is not going to minimize what Colton did. It doesn't make any sense.”

Many of the losses sustained by burglary or theft victims were covered by insurance companies, which could be in line for a share of publicity deal proceeds.

Harris-Moore is due in court Thursday, where he is expected to plead not guilty to a superseding indictment filed against him.

Browne and Assistant U.S. Attorney Darwin Roberts had previously said in court they hoped to have a plea deal reached by the end of last month that would provide the framework for resolving state and federal charges against Harris-Moore.

The new indictment, returned last month, added a bank burglary charge to the five other federal charges against Harris-Moore: interstate transportation of a stolen plane, gun, and boat; being a fugitive in possession of a firearm; and piloting an aircraft without a valid airman's certificate.

The new indictment also includes language requiring Harris-Moore to forfeit “any and all intellectual property or other proprietary rights belonging to the defendant” based on his publication or dissemination of his tale. Browne has thus far represented Harris-Moore for free, and he said he is not seeking to have Harris-Moore sell publicity rights so that he himself can get paid.

The government indicated it would never agree to using book- or movie-deal proceeds to pay for Harris-Moore's legal representation, Browne said, and that was taken off the negotiating table long ago.

“I'm losing $100,000 or more on this case,” Browne said. “I'm sticking with it because I need to see it through for Colton.”

Harris-Moore grew up on Camano Island north of Seattle and was known to sheriff's deputies from the time he was a young boy. By his mid-teens, he had convictions for theft, burglary, malicious mischief and assault, among other crimes. Deputies once caught him by pretending they were delivering him a pizza.

In early 2008, Harris-Moore escaped out the window of a halfway house south of Seattle, and began once again burglarizing vacation homes in the islands of Washington state. He also started stealing planes from small airports in the region, though he had no formal flight training and totaled two of the aircraft in crash-landings.

The federal charges stem from a spate of crimes in late 2009 and early this year, when Harris-Moore is accused of flying a stolen plane from Anacortes, in northwestern Washington, to the San Juan Islands.

He then stole a pistol in eastern British Columbia and took the plane from a Bonners Ferry hangar, where authorities found bare footprints on the floor and wall. That plane crashed near Granite Falls, Wash., after it ran out of fuel, prosecutors say. He made his way to Oregon in a 32-foot boat stolen from in southwestern Washington — stopping first to leave $100 at an animal shelter in Raymond, Wash.

From Oregon, authorities said, Harris-Moore hopscotched his way across the U.S., frequently stealing cars from the parking lots of small airports, until he made it to Indiana, where he stole another plane and made for the Bahamas. He was captured by Bahamian police at gunpoint in a stolen boat.

In all, Harris-Moore is suspected of more than 70 crimes across nine states.

‘Barefoot Bandit’ injures ankle in jail

SEATTLE (AP) — The man accused of being the Barefoot Bandit injured an ankle while playing volleyball at the Federal Detention Center in SeaTac.

Attorney Emma Scanlan told The Seattle Times today that Colton Harris-Moore is on crutches.

The 20-year-old from Camano Island is accused of a crime spree that stretched from Puget Sound to the Caribbean, including burglaries, and boat and airplane thefts.

He earned the nickname because he allegedly committed some of the crimes while barefoot.

Harris-Moore was arrested on July 11 in the Bahamas and is awaiting trial on six federal charges and more than 30 state felonies. One of the federal charges accuses him of stealing a plane from a Bonners Ferry hangar.

Attorney John Henry Browne says a plea deal is in the works.

Plea deal expected for Barefoot Bandit

SEATTLE (AP) — Washington's “Barefoot Bandit,” who is accused of evading authorities for two years as he pilfered cars, boats and airplanes in a daring cross-country crime spree, could wind up reaching a blanket plea agreement that would avoid trials in more than a dozen jurisdictions, his lawyers said Friday. 

Colton Harris-Moore, 20, crash-landed a stolen airplane in the Bahamas last year and was arrested at gunpoint before being returned to the U.S.

Though he has pleaded not guilty, his attorney, John Henry Browne, has freely discussed Harris-Moore's intent to accept responsibility if a deal resolving state and federal charges in about 17 jurisdictions can be reached. 

Browne (right) declined to discuss Friday how much prison time he expects his client to receive under any deal, but he previously said Harris-Moore is looking at anywhere from four to 12 years if convicted.

A deal could also involve Harris-Moore donating any movie- or book-deal profits to repaying victims, Browne said.

“Everyone is trying very hard to resolve every case … in this case,” said Browne, pictured right.

The U.S. attorney's office says Harris-Moore is the primary suspect in scores of crimes since he escaped from a group home near Seattle in April 2008. They include stealing five airplanes, three of which were wrecked in crash landings; dozens of break-ins at homes and businesses; and the theft of cash, food, electronics, firearms, cars and boats across nine states, British Columbia and the Bahamas.

The federal charges stem from late 2009 and last year, when Harris-Moore is accused of flying a stolen plane from Anacortes, in northwestern Washington, to the San Juan Islands; stealing a pistol in eastern British Columbia; stealing a plane from a Bonners Ferry hangar ) where authorities found bare footprints on the floor and wall, and flying it to Granite Falls, Wash., where it crashed after running out of fuel; and stealing a 32-foot boat in southwestern Washington and taking it to Oregon.

From Oregon, authorities said, the self-taught pilot hopscotched his way across the U.S., frequently stealing cars from the parking lots of small airports, until he made it to Indiana, where he stole another plane and made for the Bahamas.

His escapades earned him cult status as an authority-mocking folk hero.

Harris-Moore appeared before U.S. District Judge Richard A. Jones for a status conference Friday. Both his lawyers and Assistant U.S. Attorney Darwin Roberts told the judge they've made progress toward a plea deal, which could be reached by the end of May.

“There are still a lot of moving parts,” Roberts said. “We think it can all work out.”

After the hearing, Browne said the plea deal would likely involve Harris-Moore pleading guilty to federal crimes in federal court, and all Washington state crimes in a single state superior court — most likely in Island County, which encompasses Camano Island, where he grew up and was known to police from boyhood.

He also faces charges in San Juan County and Skagit Counties, and prosecutors and police in other counties, including Snohomish, Mason and Kitsap, are still investigating cases that may be linked to him.

Browne said he plans to travel to the Midwest soon to meet with prosecutors there.

Deal possible in Barefoot Bandit case

SEATTLE (AP) — The attorney for the teenager accused of being the “Barefoot Bandit” is working with prosecutors to negotiate a plea deal the lawyer says could involve using movie- or book-deal profits to compensate the victims of an alleged two-year, cross-country crime spree.

Through his lawyer, defendant Colton Harris-Moore, 19, pleaded not guilty this morning to federal charges that include the theft of a small plane in Bonners Ferry, Idaho, last fall.

He also pleaded not guilty to four other federal charges for an alleged cross-coutnry crime spree that ended with his arrest in a stolen boat in the Bahamas

“He’s very reluctant to make a dime off this, he really is,” said his lawyer, John Henry Browne (pictured). 

However, Browne said that when he told his client that money from movie or book deals could be used to repay victims — and incidentally win him a more favorable plea deal, with less time behind bars — “that changed his mind a little bit.”

The U.S. attorney’s office in Seattle declined to comment on whether it is negotiating a possible plea deal with Harris-Moore. 

The “Barefoot Bandit” moniker was coined after a thief committed some of the crimes without socks or shoes and gained a big following on the Internet.

Harris-Moore is accused of leading authorities on a cat-and-mouse game in pilfered cars, boats and small planes after allegedly escaping a halfway house south of Seattle in 2008. This year he made a daring cross-country dash that ended four months ago after he allegedly stole a plane in Indiana, crash-landed it in the Bahamas and was captured by Bahamian police at gunpoint in a stolen boat.

Harris-Moore, who was indicted by a grand jury last week, appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Mary Alice Theiler on Thursday wearing prison khakis over an orange shirt. He stated his name and year of birth, and frequently looked down during the brief hearing.

He told the judge he understood the charges against him — interstate transportation of a stolen aircraft, a stolen firearm and a stolen vessel, as well as being a fugitive in possession of a firearm and piloting an aircraft without a valid airman’s certificate.

Browne entered the not guilty plea on Harris-Moore’s behalf. Afterward, the attorney told reporters that discussions are in the early stages on a possible deal that could resolve federal and state charges against Harris-Moore.

Not guilty pleas are typical at this stage, even if defendants later intend to change their pleas.

Four of the five counts against Harris-Moore carry maximum sentences of 10 years in prison, and Browne said that realistically his client could be looking at anywhere from four to 12 years if convicted. Trial was set for Jan. 18.

The federal charges stem from a spate of crimes in late 2009 and early this year, when Harris-Moore is accused of flying a stolen plane from Anacortes, in northwestern Washington, to the San Juan Islands; stealing a pistol in eastern British Columbia; stealing a plane from a Bonners Ferry hangar where authorities found bare footprints on the floor and wall, and flying it to Granite Falls, Wash., where it crashed after running out of fuel; and stealing a 32-foot boat in southwestern Washington and taking it to Oregon.(The plane in Bonners Ferry was owned by a cattle rancher)

From Oregon, authorities said, the bandit hopscotched his way across the U.S., frequently stealing cars from the parking lots of small airports, until he made it to Indiana, where he stole another plane and made for the Bahamas.

In all, Harris-Moore, a self-taught pilot, is suspected of more than 70 crimes across nine states.

A possible plea deal by Harris-Moore would require the consent of prosecutors in other jurisdictions.

Some, including Greg Banks, the prosecutor in Island County, where Harris-Moore grew up and where he was first arrested at age 12, have indicated they want Harris-Moore to answer for local crimes in their courts, rather than in one overarching plea in federal court in Seattle.

If those prosecutors don’t want to cooperate, “I’ll bankrupt them,” Browne said, citing the expense of putting on a high-profile trial in small, rural counties.

The assertion drew a chuckle from Banks.

“I’ve had calls all morning about whether a jury trial over a bunch of burglaries is going to bankrupt our county, and the answer is no,” Banks said. “It was a funny thing for him to say.”

Banks, however, said he wouldn’t rule out agreeing to a global plea deal if it meant any profits could be used to repay victims, but he noted the complexity of working out such a deal. And, he said, Harris-Moore wouldn’t necessarily need to sell his story to pay restitution.

“He’s a fairly industrious young man,” Banks said. “By the time he gets out of custody he’ll probably be able to get a job and make some money. He’s talented.”

Browne said Harris-Moore has been in solitary confinement at the Federal Detention Center south of Seattle, where he’s been drawing airplane designs and reading about aircraft and nature. He’s received letters from his mother and aunt, but few visits, and he’s not interested in getting out of solitary, Browne said.

“He’d rather stay where he is, which is rather unusual,” the lawyer said.

Grand jury indicts Barefoot Bandit

A federal grand jury has indicted a notorious ex-teen fugitive for the theft of a small plane in Bonners Ferry last fall.

Colton Harris-Moore, 19, faces five charges in U.S. District Court in Seattle for an alleged crime spree that began after he escaped from a group home in April 2008, according to an indictment filed today.

“The grand jury action today is an important step in holding Colton Harris-Moore accountable for his criminal conduct,” U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Washington Jenny A. Durkan said in a prepared statement.

Harris-Moore is charged with interstate transportation of a stolen aircraft for allegedly stealing a Cessna 182 on Sept. 29, 2009, from the Boundary County Airport, then crash-landing it near Granite Falls, Wash., after it ran out of fuel. The $340,000 plane was owned by a Bonners Ferry cattle rancher.

The teen is charged with piloting an aircraft without a valid airman’s certificate for a flight he made in a stolen plane from Anacortest to Eastsound, Wash., on Feb. 10, and with interstate transportation of a stolen vessel for allegedly stealing a boat in Ilwaco, Wash., on May 31 and taking it to Oregon.

He also faces two gun charges for a Jennings .22 caliber pistol and for a .32 caliber pistol stolen in British Columbia and recovered near Granite Falls.

The gun and theft charges are punishable by up to ten years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Piloting an aircraft without an airman’s certificate is punishable by up to three years in prison.

Harris-Moore remains in federal custody in western Washington. He gained international attention as the Barefoot Bandit before his arrest in the Bahamas in July after a high-speed boat chase.

Past coverage:

July 23: Bandit’s lawyer: He was scared to death

Oct. 7, 2009: Teen bandit becoming national sensation

Barefoot Bandit doesn’t like all the attention

SEATTLE (AP) — The “Barefoot Bandit” has received movie and book offers but is not interested in telling his story — nor does he want anyone else to do it, according to his attorney.

Colton Harris-Moore, 19, is being held in Seattle on a federal count of interstate transportation of stolen property related to a plane theft at the Boundary County Airport in Bonners Ferry last fall.

The U.S. attorney’s office says Harris-Moore is the primary suspect in at least 80 crimes committed since he escaped from a group home near Seattle in April 2008.

They include stealing five airplanes, three of which were wrecked in crash landings, dozens of break-ins at homes and businesses, and the theft of cash, food, electronics, firearms, cars and boats across nine states, British Columbia and the Bahamas, where he was captured.

His attorney, John Henry Browne (pictured), told ABC News that Harris-Moore’s time as a fugitive wasn’t planned and he eluded authorities because he was afraid to turn himself in.

“He was sleeping in culverts, in ditches — and on occasion in a Porta-Potty or two,” he said.

Browne said he spoke with Harris-Moore for four hours on Saturday and found him to be “fascinating, intelligent and introspective.”

“He wanted me to give the message to the public that what he did was not romantic, that he shouldn’t be a role model,” Browne said during an interview on “Good Morning America.” ”He actually doesn’t like the attention he is getting.” (Seattle print shop owner Adin Stevens is pictured last October displaying a t-shirt he said he print on whim to celebrate Harris-Moore.)

Harris-Moore doesn’t plan to profit from his story and doesn’t want anyone else to either, Browne said.

“He felt if he told it or gave it away, it would no longer be his story,” Browne said. “Almost like, if you look in a mirror, your soul is stolen. It was really interesting.”

Asked about whether Harris-Moore flaunted his “Barefoot Bandit” image by drawing bare feet with chalk at one burglarized store, Browne said Harris-Moore intended it as a spoof.

“It was kind of like silly 19-year-old humor,” he said.

At a court hearing Friday, Harris-Moore did not contest his detention and waived his right to a preliminary hearing. His next court appearance will likely come after a grand jury indictment.

Read an in-depth story on Harris-Moore’s time in the Bahamas, written by a Seattle Times reporter who traveled there, by clicking the link below.

Past coverage:

July 23: Bandit’s lawyer: He was scared to death

Oct. 7: Teen bandit becoming national sensation

Bandit’s lawyer: ‘He was scared to death’

After Colton Harris-Moore’s brief appearance in U.S. District Court in Seattle Thursday, his prominent Seattle defense lawyer had a message for the teen’s apparent admirers. 

“For any of the kids out there that think this is fun, it is not,” John Henry Browne told news reporters, according to a video from the Seattle Times. “He was scared to death most of the time…and he’s concerned that kids will think this was fun.”

Browne described Harris-Moore as “very smart but not terribly mature.”

“He seems like a kid… the whole media thing creeps him out…He doesn’t know what’s going on…He’s confused about it.”

Browne’s associate, Emma Scanlan, said Harris-Moore is “very relieved, actually, to be done with being lonely and being on the road by himself. I think things got out of control for him.”

Harris-Moore did not contest his detention Thursday and waived his right to a preliminary hearing. His next court appearance will likely come after a grand jury indictment.

The 19-year-old, captured after a boat chase in the Bahamas July 11, is accused of stealing a Cessna 182 from the Boundary County Airport last fall and crash landing it near Granite, Falls, Wash.

Past coverage: Oct. 7: Teen bandit becoming national sensation

Barefoot Bandit returns to Washington state

SEATTLE (AP) — The alleged “Barefoot Bandit” is back in Washington state, where authorities say he began a two-year multistate crime spree.

Colton Harris-Moore arrived Wednesday afternoon from Miami on a U.S. Marshals plane and was promptly transferred to a federal detention facility in SeaTac, Wash., according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

U.S. Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Emily Langlie said the 19-year-old is scheduled to make his initial court appearance before Magistrate Judge Brian Tsuchida on Thursday, when he will be advised of the charge against him and possible penalties. He’s been charged with stealing a plane in Bonners Ferry and crash-landing it in Granite Falls, Wash., last fall

Harris-Moore was arrested July 10 in the Bahamas a week after he reportedly crash-landed in a plane stolen from an Indiana airport.

Authorities in the sun-bathed Caribbean country launched an extensive manhunt for the teenager and arrested him as he tried to flee in a boat. His arrest ended a run from the law that started when he escaped from a halfway house in Washington state in April 2008.

The self-taught pilot is suspected of more than 70 crimes — including stealing several boats and five planes — across nine states.

Police dubbed Harris-Moore the “Barefoot Bandit” because he allegedly committed some of his crimes without shoes.

His spree turned him into a sort of folk hero, with more than 90,000 followers on a Facebook fan page.

Harris-Moore, who made an initial court appearances in Florida last week after returning to the country, faces a federal charge in the crash-landing of a plane stolen from Idaho last year.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office last week declined to comment on how the prosecution will proceed, except to say it is reviewing crimes attributed to Harris-Moore to see which might be prosecuted in federal court.

Police suspect he took stolen cars, a boat and planes across state lines, and interstate transportation of stolen property is a federal offense with a 10-year maximum sentence.

Messages to his mother, Pam Kohler, and his attorney, John Henry Browne, were not immediately returned.

Past coverage:

July 13: Barefoot Bandit’s tale turns to tricky legalities

July 11: Barefoot Bandit arrested after boat chase in Bahamas

Oct. 7: Teen bandit becoming national sensation

Barefoot Bandit appears in Miami courtroom

MIAMI (AP) — The teenager dubbed the “Barefoot Bandit” by authorities will cool his heels in a Miami jail at least two more days while he sorts out which attorney will represent him.

At his first U.S. court appearance Wednesday since his arrest in the Bahamas, Colton Harris-Moore, 19, told U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert Dube he thought his mother had hired a lawyer but he didn’t know the attorney’s name.

“I’d like to speak with my mom first,” said Harris-Moore, dressed in a standard tan prison jumpsuit, sandals and white socks. He added that he last spoke to his mother, Pam Kohler, “about a week ago.”

“She said that she hired one,” he said. “I have not met with him yet.”

Dube set another hearing for Friday morning to determine Harris-Moore’s legal representation, whether he should be released on bail and when he should return to Seattle to face an alleged two-year string of crimes.

Harris-Moore is suspected in about 70 burglaries, thefts and other property crimes in eight states and British Columbia, including thefts of aircraft — one of which he allegedly flew from Indiana to the Bahamas.

Kohler has asked Seattle defense attorney John Henry Browne to represent her son in the criminal case, which currently involves the alleged theft of a plane in Bonners Ferry that was crashed in Washington state.

Browne has said he will handle it if Harris-Moore agrees. Another attorney, O. Yale Lewis, is helping Kohler with media and entertainment requests.

Harris-Moore was deported by the Bahamas to the U.S. on Tuesday, shortly after pleading guilty to illegally entering the island nation east of Miami.

Harris-Moore’s long odyssey on the lam ended Sunday after police ended a high-speed boat chase by shooting out the vessel’s engine. Harris-Moore’s attorney in the Bahamas, Monique Gomez, said the U.S. Embassy there would pay the teenager’s $300 fine.

Authorities say he earned the “Barefoot Bandit” nickname by committing some crimes while shoeless, and in February he he allegedly drew chalk-outline feet all over the floor of a grocery store during a burglary in Washington’s San Juan Islands.

Harris-Moore told police in the Bahamas that he came there because it has numerous islands, airports and docks.

The teenager claimed that he told islanders he was trying to get to Cuba so he could throw police off his trail, but he intended to make his way to the Turks and Caicos Islands southeast of the Bahamas, police said.

Past coverage:

July 13: Barefoot Bandit’s tale turns to tricky legalities

July 11: Barefoot Bandit arrested after boat chase in Bahamas

Oct. 7: Teen bandit becoming national sensation

Barefoot Bandit’s tale turns to tricky legalities

SEATTLE — With Colton Harris-Moore locked up in a Bahamian jail, federal prosecutors in Seattle are compiling evidence of his alleged crimes on U.S. soil over the past two years, a process made even more difficult by the numerous jurisdictions claiming visits by the so-called “Barefoot Bandit.”

The number of federal and state charges that could be filed against the 19-year-old Camano Island man, let alone the amount or prison time he could face if convicted, is not yet clear. Once Harris-Moore is extradited to Seattle, a grand jury will review a case involving the theft of an airplane in Idaho — the sole federal charge filed against Harris-Moore — and additional charges could potentially be tacked on at that time, authorities said.

Over the past several weeks, Assistant U.S. Attorney Darwin Roberts has been in contact with police and prosecutors in states where Harris-Moore is suspected of committing crimes — a list that includes Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Wyoming and Nebraska — to find out how the prosecution should proceed, said Emily Langlie, spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Seattle. He is suspected of burglarizing dozens of homes, and stealing cars, boats and at least five airplanes during a run from the law that began with his 2008 escape from a Seattle-area halfway house.

Read the rest of the story by Seattle Times reporter Jennifer Sullivan by clicking the link below.

Past coverage:

July 12: Barefoot Bandit to face Bahamian judge

Feb. 11: Stolen plane, chalk drawn feet: Teen burglar back?

Oct. 7: Teen bandit becoming national sensation

Barefoot Bandit arrested on boat in Bahamas

NASSAU, Bahamas (AP) — The teenage “Barefoot Bandit” who allegedly stole cars, boats and airplanes to dodge U.S. law enforcement was nabbed today as he tried to make a water escape then brought handcuffed — and shoeless — to the capital, abruptly ending his two-year life on the lam.

Colton Harris-Moore was arrested before dawn in northern Eleuthera, said Sgt. Chrislyn Skippings, a spokeswoman for the Royal Bahamas Police Force. A contingent of high-ranking officers traveled to the island and took the suspect to Nassau, the country’s capital, where he faces possible extradition to the United States.

True to his nickname, the 19-year-old suspect was barefoot as he stepped off the plane. He kept his head down and ignored questions shouted by reporters.

Escorted by six police cars and SUVs, the teen had close-shorn hair and wore short camouflage cargo pants, a white long-sleeved shirt and a bulletproof vest. Police blocked traffic on the route to the Central Detective Unit where he was taken for processing. Island police had been searching for the wily fugitive since he allegedly crash-landed a stolen plane a week ago on nearby Great Abaco Island, where he was blamed for a string of at least seven break-ins.

Authorities caught Harris-Moore on Harbour Island, a small tourist destination just off mainland Eleuthera, police Commissioner Ellison Greenslade told a news conference.

Harris-Moore was carrying a handgun that he tried to throw away and shots were fired during a water chase, Greenslade said. He did not say who fired them.

“It was like something you might see in the movies,” Greenslade said.

Earlier Sunday, a police official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t allowed to discuss the case said Harris-Moore initially attempted to flee but police shot out the engine on his boat.

He added that the suspect was examined by a doctor and appeared to be in good health. He will be taken to court this week and arraigned on charges including theft and burglary in the Bahamas, the commissioner said, noting that these charges will take priority over those pending against him in the United States.

A spokesman for the U.S. Embassy in Nassau, Jeff Dubel, praised the “outstanding efforts” of the Bahamian authorities who captured the teen.

Read the rest of the AP story by clicking the link below.

Teen bandit may have stolen boat to escape

MARSH HARBOUR, Bahamas (AP) — A teen fugitive from Washington who has successfully eluded teams of local police and FBI agents may have slipped off the island where he allegedly crash-landed a stolen plane nearly a week ago, police said today.

Authorities are investigating a report that Colton Harris-Moore, dubbed the “Barefoot Bandit,” has fled Great Abaco Island and was spotted on Eleuthera, about 40 miles to the south, two police officials said.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to comment publicly on the search. Bahamian National Security Minister Tommy Turnquest declined to comment.

It was unclear how the 19-year-old fugitive might have escaped the island, but a powerboat was stolen in Marsh Harbour.

The 44-foot boat was reported missing Thursday from the marina on Great Abaco Island, said Harry Mountain, a regional manager for The Moorings hotel and marina resort in Marsh Harbour.

The teen already is accused in a federal complaint of stealing a small plane from the Boundary County Airport last fall.

Investigators have been searching the 120-mile-long, boomerang-shaped island for Harris-Moore since he allegedly crash-landed a stolen plane in a marsh at its southern tip Sunday.

Working with the FBI, island soldiers and police have also been patrolling ports and airports to cut off potential escape routes for the wily convict, accused of dozens of burglaries in the U.S.

The marina where the boat was stolen is next door to a restaurant, Curly Tails, where the teen was allegedly caught on surveillance footage during a break-in about 4 a.m. Tuesday.

Police were investigating at least six other burglaries stretching from the island’s southern point to Marsh Harbour, a town of about 5,500 people.

About a dozen boats are stolen from the area each year, mostly by drug traffickers who target those with powerful outboard engines, said boat renter Tim Roberts. The latest theft, however, involved a cruiser with an inboard engine — a boat resembling one which Harris-Moore allegedly stole while fleeing the law in the United States.

Harris-Moore, who grew up in the woods of Washington state’s Camano Island, has been on the run since escaping from a halfway house more than two years ago. The teen had several run-ins with police by the time he was 13 and is suspected of stealing cars, boats and at least five planes during his run, despite no formal flight training.

Harris-Moore earned the “Barefoot Bandit” nickname because he allegedly went shoeless for some of his crimes and once left behind chalk footprints as his calling card.

Barefoot Bandit linked to Bahamas break-ins

MARSH HARBOUR, Bahamas (AP) — A teenage fugitive from Washington with a celebrated history of escapes has allegedly committed several nighttime burglaries in the Bahamas, eluding an FBI-aided manhunt on the sliver of an island where he crash-landed a stolen plane.

Investigators pursuing Colton Harris-Moore were following a trail of break-ins from the southern tip of Great Abaco Island, where the 19-year-old convict ditched the plane Sunday, to the main town of Marsh Harbour 50 miles away where the teen was recognized on surveillance footage of a restaurant burglary.

The Bahamas caper of the teen dubbed as the “Barefoot Bandit” began when he guided the single-engine Cessna into clear blue, knee-deep waters at a sparsely populated corner of the sun-soaked island. He apparently followed a peninsula of land to the town of Sandy Point, and he was reportedly seen walking across a road around the time a service station was burglarized Sunday night.

His arrival coincided with an annual regatta that may make it easy for him to blend in among the crowds of visiting tourists. It also came just before the unsealing of a complaint in U.S. District Court that accuses him of stealing a plane from the Boundary County Airport last fall.

A Royal Bahamian Police Force bulletin warned that the 19-year-old should be considered “armed and dangerous.” The FBI is offering a $10,000 reward for tips that lead to his capture.

Bar and restaurant owner Alistair McDonald said he was one of the thief’s latest victims.

McDonald said surveillance video captured the suspect inside his establishment in Great Abaco’s Marsh Harbour (pictured above) before dawn Tuesday. He said the teen at one point looked directly into a security camera, then shone a flashlight into it to blur the image and turned all three security cameras to face the wall.

“He seemed pretty relaxed and at ease,” McDonald said, adding he thinks the thief was looking for money or got spooked because he left without stealing anything, not even a bottle of water. He gave the tape to police.

Service station owner Dwight Pinder (right) said his shop on the southern tip of Great Abaco was burglarized Sunday night, shortly after the plane crash in a nearby marsh. The thief stole a Gatorade and two packets of potato chips, leaving a bundle of food and drinks on the counter — a sign he apparently left in a rush.

Pinder told The Associated Press that the thief was so skilled that he didn’t even scratch the lock he picked.

A nearby house was also burglarized, with the thief making off with a brown Chevrolet Tahoe that was later found abandoned in the town of Marsh Harbour.

Read the rest of the story by clicking the link below.

Barefoot Bandit’s mom: Phone home, Colt

As authorities search the Bahamas for Colton Harris-Moore, his mother has sent a message to him through The Associated Press.

“Colt is not to be flying a single engine-plane,” said Pam Kohler, saying she was worried about engine failure. “When I heard that, that just upset me. The rules are, he carries a parachute with him and he takes two-engine planes. Tell him he needs to call me.”

Kohler said she wasn’t surprised her 19-year-old son might be able to make the 1,000-mile trip after teaching himself how to fly. She has publicly defended him and claims the allegations against him are exaggerated.

She told the AP that she would have preferred a country that doesn’t have an extradition treaty with the United States. ”

The furthest he gets from the U.S., the better,” Kohler said from her home in Camano Island in Washington state. “I’m glad he’s able to enjoy beautiful islands, but they extradite. It doesn’t help matters at all.”

Authorities are now hunting for Harris-Moore — known as the Barefoot Bandit for allegedly committing some crimes while shoeless — on an island hosting hundreds of tourists for an annual sailing regatta that could help the lanky, blue-eyed teen pull off another escape.

“He’s not in custody as yet. We’re following some leads and we’re working with the Abaco community to try and find him. Hopefully we should find him,” Assistant Police Commissioner Glenn Miller said Tuesday.

Police in the Bahamas launched a fruitless search for him Monday night in wooded areas around Sandy Point, near the mangrove wetlands at the island’s southern tip where a plane stolen in Indiana landed on Sunday.

Caroline Smith, a clerk at a marina in Marsh Harbour, a town on Great Abaco, said the manhunt on the typically sleepy island of 16,000 has inhabitants buzzing with rumors.

“I’ve heard he stole a car. Someone else says he stole a boat. Everybody’s talking a whole lot,” Smith said today. “But I can tell you, there were three break-ins on Monday night, which is really unusual for us.”

A federal complaint was unsealed Tuesday charging Harris-Moore with the theft of a small plane from the airport in Bonners Ferry last fall. Read my story here.

Past coverage

June 22: Has the Barefoot Bandit hit the Midwest?

June 3: $50,000 for Barefoot Bandit’s surrender

Feb. 11: Stolen plane, chalk drawn feet: Teen burglar back?

Oct. 7: Teen bandit becoming national sensation

Oct. 2: Teen fugitive may have stolen Cessna

Has the Barefoot Bandit hit the Bahamas?

NASSAU, Bahamas (AP) — Police were hunting across a tourist island Tuesday for signs of a pilot who vanished after wrecking a small plane in the Bahamas and investigators in the U.S. turned their suspicions toward an American teenager on the run dubbed “the Barefoot Bandit.”

The single-engine Cessna that crashed in shallow waters off Abaco island was apparently stolen from an airport in Bloomington, Indiana. By the time  rescuers arrived on Sunday, nobody was inside.

The 2009 Cessna 400 Corvalis was stolen over the weekend from the Monroe County Airport, the facility’s manager, Bruce Payton said. It was unclear how the thief got into the airport, which has a 10-foot security fence with barbed wire and coded access gates.

U.S. authorities said the heist has similarities to other thefts attributed to 19-year-old Colton Harris-Moore, a Washington state teenager who has no formal flight training, including the theft of a Cessna from the airport in Bonners Ferry last fall.

The teen got his nickname for allegedly committing crimes while shoeless. He is suspected of stealing cars and small airplanes to evade authorities since escaping from a halfway house near Seattle in 2008.

Payton said a detective with the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department told him authorities had recovered a stolen vehicle about a half-mile from the Indiana airport and the “the details of the stolen vehicle seemed to fit that of the pattern known as the Barefoot Bandit.”

FBI Special Agent Steven Dean said surveillance video taken from the Monroe County Airport also indicates that Harris-Moore is responsible for the theft, according to KOMO-TV in Seattle.

An FBI statement posted on the web site of the U.S. Embassy in Nassau said Harris-Moore may have recent injuries and urged anyone who sees him to contact the nearest Bahamas police station. It said the FBI is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to his arrest.

A team of detectives in this island chain off the Florida coast traveled from Nassau, the capital, on Tuesday to join the investigation and aid the search for the pilot in Abaco, police Sgt. Chrislyn Skippings said. She said authorities had not confirmed the plane was the same aircraft stolen from Indiana.

The plane was reported missing Sunday after the owner received a call from the U.S. Coast Guard that the emergency locator transmitter on the plane was sending out a beacon signal off the coast of the Bahamas, Payton said.

Meanwhile, Bahamas police received a report of a wrecked plane and requested assistance from the U.S. Coast Guard, which dispatched a Falcon jet from Miami to fly over the area. The jet did not find any sign of bodies, said Petty officer Sabrina Elgammal, a Coast Guard spokeswoman in Miami.

Last week, police in Nebraska issued a warrant for his arrest, and police in South Dakota confirmed his fingerprints were found at a burglary scene.

Past coverage:

June 22: Has the Barefoot Bandit hit the Midwest?

June 3: $50,000 for Barefoot Bandit’s surrender

Feb. 11: Stolen plane, chalk drawn feet: Teen burglar back?

Oct. 7: Teen bandit becoming national sensation

Prints link Barefoot Bandit to South Dakota

YANKTON, S.D. (AP) — Fingerprints found at the scene of a Yankton burglary match those of the “Barefoot Bandit,” South Dakota authorities confirm. 

Yankton assistant police chief Jerry Hisek says he was notified today that state Division of Criminal Investigation found three of 19-year-old Colton Harris-Moore’s fingerprints at the scene of a June 18 break-in.

The teen (pictured) had already been named a suspect. Harris-Moore, of Camano Island, Wash., has evaded authorities since April 2008, when he escaped from a halfway house south of Seattle.

He is accused of breaking into dozens of homes since and committing burglaries across the region and into the Midwest, including the theft of a small airplane from the Boundary County Airport.

Police in Nebraska issued a warrant for Harris-Moore’s arrest this week.

Past coverage

June 22: Has the Barefoot Bandit hit the Midwest?

June 3: $50,000 for Barefoot Bandit’s surrender

Feb. 11: Stolen plane, chalk drawn feet: Teen burglar back?

Oct. 7: Teen bandit becoming national sensation

Nebraska warrant issued for Barefoot Bandit

NORFOLK, Neb. (AP) — Police have issued an arrest warrant for a teen burglar known as “The Barefoot Bandit” after surveillance cameras apparently captured images of him at a northeast Nebraska airport the same day that an SUV was stolen from there.

Police have also collected fingerprints that could link 19-year-old Colton Harris-Moore to the theft of the Cadillac Escalade from the municipal airport near Norfolk earlier this month, according to the arrest warrant affidavit.

The vehicle later turned up nearly 240 miles away in Pella, Iowa. The affidavit said police believe Harris-Moore was also involved in the theft of a car from Yankton, S.D. — which turned up in Norfolk — and another vehicle taken from a small airport near Pella.

Harris-Moore, a 6-foot-5 fugitive from Camano Island, Wash., escaped from a halfway house south of Seattle in April 2008.

Authorities believe he has since broken into dozens of homes and committed numerous burglaries across the Northwest, stealing boats, cars and even small airplanes, including a theft at the Boundary County Airport last year.

Norfolk detectives sent the surveillance video they believe shows Harris-Moore from the Norfolk airport to the Seattle office of the FBI and the Island County, Wash., Sheriff’s Department.

The Nebraska warrant charges Harris-Moore with burglary and theft. Harris-Moore, whose nickname arose from his penchant for committing crimes without shoes, has become notorious, with a Facebook fan page that boasts more than 42,000 followers.

Rolling Stone magazine also published a story on his exploits in May.

Past coverage:

June 22: Has the Barefoot Bandit hit the Midwest?

June 3: $50,000 for Barefoot Bandit’s surrender

Feb. 11: Stolen plane, chalk drawn feet: Teen burglar back?

Oct. 7: Teen bandit becoming national sensation

Oct. 2: Stolen plane may be the work of teen bandit

Has the Barefoot Bandit hit the Midwest?

SEATTLE (AP) — Police in the Midwest are investigating whether an infamous teen burglar from Washington state is behind a string of break-ins and car thefts, officials said Monday. Colton Harris-Moore, a 6-foot-5 19-year-old from Camano Island, Wash., escaped from a halfway house south of Seattle in April 2008.

Since then, authorities believe he’s been responsible for numerous burglaries at vacation homes and businesses around the Northwest, and that he’s stolen boats, cars and even a few small airplanes, including one from the Boundary County Airport in North Idaho.

A family in Yankton, S.D., found a tall man in their home last Friday, Assistant Police Chief Jerry Hisek said. They didn’t get a good look at him because the house was dark, and the family couldn’t identify Harris-Moore in photos. But the suspect did shave or cut his hair at the home, and investigators have sent that evidence to a state crime lab for DNA analysis, Hisek said.

A car stolen from Yankton turned up 60 miles south at Ta-Ha-Zouka Park in Norfolk, Neb., on Sunday, said Norfolk Police Capt. Steven Hecker. Another car — a Cadillac Escalade — was taken from Karl Stefan Memorial Airport nearby and turned up 240 miles east, in Pella, Iowa, on Monday.

Another car was taken from a small airport near Pella, Hecker said.

The Pella Police Department declined to comment on Monday, and Hecker said authorities don’t know whether the suspect is Harris-Moore.

“We weren’t familiar with this guy, but we certainly are now,” Hecker said.

The last trace of Harris-Moore in Washington state was over Memorial Day weekend, when he left $100 at a veterinary clinic in the southwestern town of Raymond along with a note that said: “Drove by, had some extra cash. Please use this money for the care of animals Colton Harris-Moore (AKA: ‘The Barefoot Bandit’) Camano Island, WA.”

Harris-Moore, who has more than 41,000 Facebook fans, earned the moniker by committing some of his crimes barefoot. Police confirmed his fingerprints were on the note.

Police in Oregon are investigating whether Harris-Moore is to blame for a series of crimes on June 1, when a stolen boat from southwestern Washington turned up in Warrenton, Ore.

A car was stolen from a nearby airport later that day.

“Seems like he’s always a day or two ahead of us,” Warrenton Police Chief Mathew Workman said Monday. “His luck’ll run out.”

Past coverage:

June 3: $50,000 for Barefoot Bandit’s surrender

Feb. 11: Stolen plane, chalk drawn feet: Teen burglar back?

Oct. 7: Teen bandit becoming national sensation

Barefoot Bandit donates to veterinary clinic

 RAYMOND, Wash. (AP) — Police have confirmed that a note left at a Raymond, Wash., veterinary clinic along with money totaling $100 was written by teen fugitive Colton Harris-Moore.

Raymond Police Chief Ken Boyes says the State Patrol crime lab confirmed Harris-Moore’s fingerprints were on the note.

The note asks the clinic to use the money to care for animals.

Boyes says it’s easy to be generous with other’s people’s money.

No recent crimes connected with Harris-Moore have been reported in Raymond. Recently, police in the northwest Oregon town of Warrenton are investigating a boat theft, an attempted plane theft and a car theft that happened within hours of each other on June 1.

Officials are analyzing fingerprints taken from a boat stolen from Ilwaco, Wash., and found tied up to a pier in Warrenton.

Harris-Moore has been on the run since April 2008, when he escaped from a group home south of Seattle. He has been suspected of breaking into homes and business in Washington, British Columbia, North Idaho and Oregon, including a plane theft in Boundary County.

Past coverage:

June 3: $50,000 for Barefoot Bandit’s surrender

Feb. 11: Stolen plane, chalk drawn feet: Teen burglar back?

Oct. 7: Teen bandit becoming national sensation

Oct. 2: Stolen plane may be the work of teen bandit

$50,000 for Barefoot Bandit’s surrender

SEATTLE (AP) — An anonymous donor is offering to pay a notorious Washington state teen burglar $50,000 if he turns himself in by next Tuesday.

Everett bounty hunter Mike Rocha announced the offer on Thursday. He says it’s genuine: The money’s been placed in the trust account of Edmonds criminal defense attorney James Johanson.

Nineteen-year-old Colton Harris-Moore has been on the run since April 2008, when he escaped from a group home south of Seattle. He has been suspected of breaking into homes and business in five Washington counties, British Columbia and North Idaho, where the teen is suspected of stealing an airplane from the Boundary County airport.

Police also believe he’s taken four planes, luxury cars and power boats.

Johanson says the offer isn’t a trick and ethical rules for lawyers would prevent him from engaging in such a ruse. He says he’ll represent Harris-Moore for free if the teen wants, and Harris-Moore can keep the $50,000.

Feb. 11: Stolen plane, chalk drawn feet: Teen burglar back?

Oct. 7: Teen bandit becoming national sensation

Oct. 2: Stolen plane may be the work of teen bandit

Teen bandit becoming national sensation

His following seems to grow as quickly as the list of crimes people speculate he may have committed.

Colton Harris-Moore has been something of a legend in the town of Camano Island, where he grew up and is suspected of nearly 50 burglaries and thefts, including boat and plane heists, since his escape from a halfway house in April 2008.

The Seattle Times has chronicled the teen’s exploits for more than two years, but the bandit has made headlines across the country in the past week after speculation arose that he may be responsible for stealing a Cessna 182 Turbo plane from the Boundary County Airport in Bonners Ferry.

ABC news had branded Harris-Moore a “modern-day Huckleberry Finn” in this article published a week before he was linked to the theft. That pushed the teen into the national spotlight, but last week’s news about the stolen Cessna has been published and broadcast all over the country.

His mother has gained her share of fame, too, thanks to comments like “If he really flew those planes, I’m proud of him. I was going to send him to flight school. I guess I don’t have to.” (Read more here)

A brief Internet search suggests Harris-Moore’s fame is only beginning. A Facebook fan club dedicated to the teen had more than 700 members as of 1 p.m. and was growing by the minute. A man in Seattle, Adin Stevens, (shown above) recently printed t-shirts with a picture of Harris-Moore and the phrase “Momma tried. Colton Harris Moore fan club.”

Officials first suspected a group of drug runners may have been responsible for the two burglaries at the airport, which followed break ins at the Creston, B.C airport in which someone tried to take a similar Cessna.

But after the plane crash landed in a clear near Granite Falls The Seattle Times reported that the Island County Sheriff’s Office had sent a detective to assist in the investigation because of the possibility that Harris-Moore was involved.

Federal aviation authorities say only one person was a board the plane, according to this AP article.

The plane’s owner said last week that authorities were connecting Harris-Moore to the theft through “method of operation.”

In the two earlier plane thefts, authorities say Harris-Moore stole a Cessna 182 from an Orcas Island hangar last November and flew it to Eastern Washington, where he made a “hard landing” on the Yakima Indian Reservation, according to The Seattle Times.

On Sept. 11, Harris-Moore allegedly stole an experimental aircraft from Friday Harbor and flew it to Orcas Island, where it, too, made a “hard landing,” The Times reported. Bare foot prints were found at the scene of the latest plane theft.

Harris-Moore is known not to wear shoes.