Have you heard of the “Barefoot Bandit”?

July 11th, 2010, by

I hadn’t until today, when news of his arrest in the Bahamas began to spread across the Internet.

Colton Harris-Moore is a 19-year-old Washington native who has been on the run from the police for over two years, evading capture by stealing cars, boats and even airplanes — despite an apparent lack of formal flight training.

Harris-Moore started his criminal career early, with his first conviction at the age of 12 for possession of stolen property. After fleeing a Washington halfway house in 2008, his run from the law took him across the country, including an alleged 1,000-mile flight from Indiana to Florida in a stolen airplane. According to the Associated Press, Harris-Moore’s story has captured the interest of tens of thousands on Facebook, where he has 58,000 fans, many of them now offering encouragement, praise and advice. He’s also got a fan page on the Internet, which sells T-shirts with his face on them and is taking donations for a Colton Harris-Moore defense fund.

With echoes of the blockbuster movie Catch Me If You Can, it’s easy to see why Harris-Moore, a tall, lanky, regular-looking kid, has garnered so much attention. While it’s yet to be seen how he will fare in court, there’s doubtless a book/movie deal in store somewhere down the line.

  • Jason

    Sad story but what an accomlished young thief! Not great that he became a thief- but look at the juvenile corrections system, atleast he isn’t violent like many of the young adults that system releases on society. Most kids that survive juvie have scars inside and out, so no wonder he is lashing out in this most rash way. Tons of potential and nothing to do with it – think it says very bad things about his home of record and the resources available to young people in trouble in Washington state. He obviously has many talents that could have been encouraged and developed but slipped through the cracks and now look at him. I wonder what makes a 16 or 17 year old want to escape from their home so bad that they are willing to steal cars, boats, and planes to do it and sleep in airplane hangars on 90 degree summer days with little food or comfort? Physical abuse, emotional abuse, lack of attention and lack of mental stimulation. Very sad story – I would really like to hear more about the specific facilities he came from in Washington and what kind of success they are having in rehabilitating young people. In particular- what kind of guidance was this kid given since the time he was first arrested?

Last modified: April 26, 2011 at 10:40 am