Maggie’s 'Barefoot' in Bahamas: Aircraft Thief

Phil1

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'Barefoot' in Bahamas: Teen fugitive eludes police

By MIKE MELIA (AP) – 1 hour ago

MARSH HARBOUR, Bahamas — A wily teenage thief who hopscotched his way across the U.S. and escaped in a stolen plane to the Bahamas lived up to his legend Wednesday, eluding a manhunt after allegedly committing a new series of break-ins on a normally quiet island.

Bahamian police interviewed burglary victims while searching for Colton Harris-Moore on sun-speckled Great Abaco Island days after the fugitive who has been dubbed the "Barefoot Bandit" crash-landed the plane and made his way to shore.

His arrival coincided with an annual regatta that may make it easy for him to blend in among the crowds of visiting tourists.

A Royal Bahamian Police Force bulletin warned that the 19-year-old should be considered "armed and dangerous." Back in the U.S., he has become a folk hero of sorts, with a fan club hawking T-shirts emblazoned with his image, songs about his exploits and tens of thousands of followers on Facebook.

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 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 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.

Assistant Police Commissioner Glenn Miller said Harris-Moore is a suspect in the burglary of at least seven homes and businesses on Great Abaco, the largest of dozens of small islands and cays that are a part of the sprawling Bahamas archipelago east of Florida. The island is small, but its dense clusters of trees provide good cover for a proven outdoorsman like Harris-Moore.

Police scoured the island for the lanky teen, who is 6 feet, 5 inches tall but still has a boyish face that has led some to compare him to the Leonardo DiCaprio character in the film "Catch Me If You Can."

National Security Minister Tommy Turnquest said local authorities were working with the FBI, which posted a $10,000 reward for information leading to Harris-Moore's capture.

"If he is there to be caught our police will catch him," Turnquest said.

Assistant Superintendent Hulan Hanna said police believed the fugitive was still on Abaco.

"We have taken steps to neutralize the areas he may try to use to leave the island," Hanna said. "We have been talking to people on the ground, we have distributed fliers featuring his photo throughout the island."

Caroline Smith, a clerk at a marina in Marsh Harbour, said the manhunt on the typically quiet island of 16,000 residents has people 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.

Harris-Moore grew up in the woods of Camano Island in Puget Sound about 30 miles (50 kilometers) north of Seattle. His mother has said he displayed a love of thieving at a young age.

His first conviction — for possession of stolen property — came at age 12. Within a few months of turning 13, he had three more. Each brought a 10-day stint in detention or community service.

In 2007, he was sentenced to nearly four years in juvenile detention after being caught in an unoccupied home when a neighbor noticed the lights on. But he did well enough at the detention center that he was transferred to a halfway house, where he sneaked out of an open window more than two years ago.

He has since been linked to dozens of burglaries, including several airplane thefts. During the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, a plane that may have been stolen by Harris-Moore skirted a flight zone set up for the event. It never entered restricted airspace during its erratic journey, helping the pilot evade authorities.

He was pinned with the nickname "Barefoot Bandit" for allegedly committing some crimes while shoeless.

Pam Kohler, Harris-Moore's mother, said she wasn't surprised her son might be able to make the 1,000-mile (1,610-kilometer) flight from where the plane was stolen in Bloomington, Indiana, to the Bahamas after teaching himself how to fly.

She has publicly defended her son, and claims the allegations against him are exaggerated. She told The Associated Press she would have preferred he fled to a country that doesn't have an extradition treaty with the United States.

"The furthest he gets from the U.S., the better," she said from her home on 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."

Kohler said she is worried about his safety.

"Colt is not to be flying a single engine-plane," she insisted, 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."

On Elbow Cay, one of dozens of tiny islands scattered around Great Abaco Island, residents said they were being vigilant.

"We're keeping an eye out for him and just hoping he doesn't do anything crazy," said Valery McPhee, who runs a convenience store in the enclave of Hope Town.

He could try to blend in with tourists vacationing on the islands. The Regatta Time in Abaco is an annual ritual for sailors, mostly from nearby South Florida. Organizer Kathy Ralph said some 50 boats are participating in races and the competition, the area's biggest annual event, has drawn more than 2,000 spectators.

On Orcas Island north of Seattle, which has been one of Harris-Moore's favorite stomping grounds in the past year, an official said he hoped news of the teenager's adventures abroad meant he wouldn't be coming back soon.

"Speaking on behalf of the business community, we're thrilled," Chamber of Commerce Director Lance Evans said. "We're hopeful that authorities anywhere he finds himself will catch him."

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5g3ng0HuCqAC4S1vDdZDuEso6S73QD9GQGBU80
 

Scar527

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Re: 'Barefoot' in Bahamas: Aircraft Thief

I have a feeling somebody will end up making a movie about this.
 

cavscout1983

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Re: 'Barefoot' in Bahamas: Aircraft Thief

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">

Kohler said she is worried about his safety.

"Colt is not to be flying a single engine-plane," she insisted, 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."</div></div>

This combined with the other quotes in the article leads me to believe she didn't exactly try to foster a mindset of "stealing is bad". Rules? What parent dictates rules about how to escape and stay safe? hahah...

Man, some people's kids but in this case I think it's more like "some people's parents".
 

garrett

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Re: 'Barefoot' in Bahamas: Aircraft Thief

Wow, i grew up hiking on orcas and the san juans too. kind of a hilarious story, and quote from mother, wow...
 

Jared44

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Re: 'Barefoot' in Bahamas: Aircraft Thief

I've been following this story for a while, and I think it's just funny that he makes the authorities everywhere look stupid. It's a good demonstratioon of how a good resourcefull person can do whatever they want, regardless of the zomb, I mean authorities. I think this kid will geet tired of it all and either get caught, or settle down somewhere for a while. I just hope he speaks spanish.
 

jrhammons

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Re: 'Barefoot' in Bahamas: Aircraft Thief

Jared I have been following it as well. Kid had BIG balls to do the things he has done and keep thumbing his nose at the feds the way he has. And yes...a movie is already in the works. Personally I hope they catch his ass soon before he hurts somebody permanently.
 

acehigh

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Re: 'Barefoot' in Bahamas: Aircraft Thief

He's already shot at a police officer. He a regular scumbag now, far as I'm concerned anyway. Not cute or resourceful or anything else just lucky. He'll get caught eventually. Hope for his sake the cops aren't trigger happy.
JH
 

High Binder

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Re: 'Barefoot' in Bahamas: Aircraft Thief

I like this kid. He reminds me of the Decaprio character in <span style="font-style: italic">catch me if you can</span>

Someday he'll get busted but if you're going to be a criminal you might as well do it all out like he is...

Sad part is that he'll make millions off the movie contracts.
 
G

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Re: 'Barefoot' in Bahamas: Aircraft Thief

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Shot In The Dark</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I like this kid. He reminds me of the Decaprio character in <span style="font-style: italic">catch me if you can</span>

Someday he'll get busted but if you're going to be a criminal you might as well do it all out like he is...

Sad part is that he'll make millions off the movie contracts. </div></div>

Laws in the U.S. will prevent him from profiting off his escapades if he is convicted of a felony. He is a common thief, and should be dealt with as such.
 

High Binder

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Re: 'Barefoot' in Bahamas: Aircraft Thief

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: captinmitch</div><div class="ubbcode-body"><div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Shot In The Dark</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I like this kid. He reminds me of the Decaprio character in <span style="font-style: italic">catch me if you can</span>

Someday he'll get busted but if you're going to be a criminal you might as well do it all out like he is...

Sad part is that he'll make millions off the movie contracts. </div></div>

Laws in the U.S. will prevent him from profiting off his escapades if he is convicted of a felony. He is a common thief, and should be dealt with as such. </div></div>

Opps, you're right! I totally spaced that!
 

Phil1

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Re: 'Barefoot' in Bahamas: Aircraft Thief

Bahamas police say teen fugitive known as the 'Barefoot Bandit' has been caught

* Juan McCartney, The Associated Press
* 2010/07/11

NASSAU, Bahamas - Bahamian police captured a teenage U.S. fugitive Sunday, bringing to an end the "Barefoot Bandit's" two-year flight from U.S. justice, a senior police official said.

Colton Harris-Moore was arrested before dawn on northern Eleuthera island, the police official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the case. He said the suspect would soon be flown to Nassau, the capital, where the Royal Bahamas Police Force would be holding a news conference.

Island police have been searching for him since he allegedly crash-landed a stolen plane a week ago on nearby Great Abaco Island.

Harris-Moore, who has been running from American law enforcement since escaping from a Washington state halfway house in 2008, gained fame and thousands of fans who admired his ability to evade arrest. He is suspected of stealing cars, boats and at least five planes — including the aircraft he allegedly stole in Indiana and flew to the islands off Florida's coast, despite a lack of formal flight training.

The 19-year-old is a skilled outdoorsman who honed his abilities growing up in the woods of Camano Island in Puget Sound about 30 miles (50 kilometres) north of Seattle.

Island police picked up his trail in Eleuthera after recovering a 44-foot (13-meter) power boat stolen from a marina on Abaco, 40 miles (65 kilometres) to the north, where he was suspected in a string of burglaries.

Burglary victims in Eleuthera told The Associated Press on Saturday they had little doubt the lanky, 6-foot, 5-inch (1.9-meter) fugitive was on the island.

Ferry boat captain Freddie Grant said he was returning from Harbour Island in northern Eleuthera on Wednesday evening when he saw a tall, white teenager bathing or swimming in an inlet near the ferry landing. Ferry service employee Stan Pennerman also said he saw Harris-Moore lurking in the woods the same day.

Neither man thought much of it until they noticed the next morning that somebody had damaged the ignition system on three of their boats.

A bar at the ferry landing was also burglarized Wednesday night by a thief who cut a screen to break in, dismantled a security light, and moved the television's remote controls, said Denaldo Bain, the 30-year-old manager of Coakley's International Sporting Lounge.

"He was watching television. He was just chilling," said Bain, who also said he saw the teenager in the inlet.

Harris-Moore had a troubled childhood. His first conviction, for possession of stolen property, came at age 12. Within a few months of turning 13, he had three more.

He was sentenced to nearly four years in juvenile detention after being caught in an unoccupied home in 2007, but he did well enough there that he was transferred to a group home, where he sneaked out of a window more than two years ago.

He was dubbed the "Barefoot Bandit" for allegedly going shoeless during some crimes and once allegedly leaving behind chalk footprints as a calling card.

He has become a folk hero to supporters, who have bought "Run, Colton, Run" T-shirts and written songs about his exploits. He has tens of thousands of followers on Facebook.
http://www.680news.com/news/world/articl...has-been-caught

Then there is his delinquent mother.

Mom of 'Barefoot Bandit' Gets Entertainment Lawyer
Mother of teen burglar who escaped to Bahamas hires well-known Seattle entertainment lawyer
The Associated Press

SEATTLE

A Seattle entertainment lawyer who has represented the likes of Courtney Love and the family of Jimi Hendrix has a new client: the mother of the 'barefoot bandit.'

O. Yale Lewis confirmed to The Seattle Times that his firm has been retained by Pamela Kohler, the mother of elusive teen burglar Colton Harris-Moore.

The 6-foot-5 19-year-old is suspected in dozens of thefts since he walked away from a halfway house two years ago, and he is believed to have made his way to the Bahamas in a plane stolen from an Indiana airport. Authorities there are scouring the islands looking for him.

Kohler says she needs an attorney to handle her "entertainment" interests, and she said a deal for a book about her son is in the works.

http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory?id=11132668
 

TLong

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Re: 'Barefoot' in Bahamas: Aircraft Thief

There should be charges brought against the mother for conspiracy or something. You know, there are people in this world who want kids, but can't have them for different reasons. Then there are shitbag parents like this that don't give two shits about their kids, to the point that her son is taken away from her and put in a group home. But now that she sees $$$ she wants to claim ownership of her son. I say they both need to be taken out of the gene pool.
 

Sean the Nailer

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    Re: 'Barefoot' in Bahamas: Aircraft Thief

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: TLong</div><div class="ubbcode-body">But now that she sees $$$ she wants to claim ownership of her son. I say they both need to be taken out of the gene pool.</div></div>

    I second THAT motion.