Bounty Hunter – my new job title?

Police found Colton Harris-Moore's photograph on a stolen digital camera AP Read more: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1946950,00.html#ixzz0pvkvzeky

So have you heard about the kid who has been stealing planes and boats in the San Juans? The one who has been on a two-year burglary spree?

His name is Colton Harris-Moore but he’s perhaps better known nationally by the nickname given to him by the press:

The Barefoot Bandit

Here’s the deal with this kid.

He’s 19-years-old. In 2008 he escaped from a group home and began living in the woods and stealing from homes on his home island- Camano Island- and the San Juans.

He is 6′ 5″

He’s stolen planes (apparently taught himself to fly by reading flight manuals… but doesn’t know how to land because he always crash lands the planes)

He’s flown over restricted air space during the Vancouver Winter Olympics

He’s stolen boats

He has robbed an Orcas Island family-owned natural food market twice and caused several thousands of dollars of damage.

A drawing of bare feet was left as a "calling card" after the burglary of the Homegrown Market on Orcas Island. (AP Photo from Komonews.com story)

After the most recent break-in he drew a chalk outline of bare feet on the floor and wrote “C Ya!”

The owner of the market set up camp in the market and slept there on the floor with his dog thinking that Colton might return and he wasn’t going to let him get away with it again.

Most recently he burglarized a home on the southern tip of San Juan Island (THIS island) and stole a boat that the authorities found on Lopez Island. Here is a story on that from The Seattle Times.

The fans

This 6′ 5″ brat has a huge following. Huge.

He has legions of fans that are so dedicated they’ve made t-shirts, written songs about him and yes, started a Facebook fan page and fan club.

They see him as a Robin Hood figure. Which is ridiculous. Because although he had a difficult childhood, he does not steal only from the rich and he’s certainly not giving to the poor. Unless you count him. Alone.

His fans see him as a survivalist who is “sticking it to the man.”

Well, if the man happens to be an independent business owner of a small market on a tiny island. Then, sure.

You can see by my tone that I am not one of his fans. But I believe that his fans are the reason he hasn’t been caught yet. They won’t turn him in. No way. Not unless the reward is big enough. And it’s not. $5,500 to turn in a cult hero is not enough. I’m sure he has people helping him. He’s 6’5″. That’s pretty dang tall. And yes, there are plenty of places to hide in the islands. These islands are rural and forested. But, he’s 6’5″.

Am I focusing too much on his height?

Bring in the bounty hunters

The residents on Camano Island are so fed up with his antics and the fact that he hasn’t been caught that they have taken matters into their own hands. They called in the help of some bounty hunters.

I first learned about this guy back in October when we first landed on the island and our friend Chris (who brought our stuff up from L.A.) was here. One of us came across a story about him and then we just kept going back and forth researching. Chris found his Facebook fan page.

We couldn’t believe how many fans he had. And we were sure that there would be a bidding war over the film rights to his life. Which only further annoys me. But, I do have to admit. There’s a great movie waiting to made in all of this.

The reward

Bob and I have since joked about catching him for the reward. I believe the reward is now up to $5,500 thanks to a $2,500 contribution from Bounty Hunter Rocha. And someone is offering $50,000 for him to surrender. That, I don’t get. Where would that money go? Why is there so much for his surrender as opposed to his capture? Can someone explain this to me?

Anyway, the other day my friend Jennifer posted something on Facebook that she had just talked to someone who had seen Colton out at Wescott Bay. That’s just a 10-minute drive from our house. And apparently the Sherrif lives out there. Could it really have been him?

Jennifer joked about becoming a bounty hunter and I offered my services as her pregnant bounty hunter assistant. She said only if I had a mullet and a wife beater.

It just so happens, Jenn, that Bob has a mullet wig and I have a maternity wife beater. So should we do this?

As much as I would love to traipse around in a mullet wig and maternity wife-beater tee…

And as much as the $5,500 would help us right now, I’m not going to be carving out any time to look for this kid.

But someone catch him already! I’m getting tired of looking at his smug face. Which was recently caught on security cameras at the Lopez Island Marina. Here is that story.

And Colton, if you’re reading this, we lock our doors and have NOTHING of value to steal.

By the way, my friend Jennifer has a really great blog that is also about island life and her life specifically- as a mother to three daughters. It’s called Baby by the Sea. Check it out. She’s an awesome person and has been really helpful to me with maternity clothes, baby stuff, loads of helpful information and friendship.

Links

If you’re fascinated by this story and want to research more, here are some links for you:

Catch the Barefoot Bandit – The Colton Harris Moore ANTI-FAN site dedicated to catching him. (By the way, they are organizing a community meeting on Orcas Island. So if you live on Orcas and are interested in attending, contact them at: CatchTheBarefootBandit@gmail.com)

America’s Most Wanted Teenage Bandit – Time Magazine Article

Washington’s Most Wanted

Teenage Bandit May Have Struck Again – Seattle Times Story

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9 Responses

  1. Hi. Thanks for covering this and supporting safe communities. Just to clarify, the reward is $6,500.

    All best,
    DP
    CatchTheBarefootBandit.org

  2. Geez, did you see the latest? He was last spotted in Illinois and before that – in Iowa!
    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504083_162-20009424-504083.html?tag=latest

    • No, I haven’t seen that. Thanks for the link. I’ll check it out. I knew he had moved on because they found a handwritten note from him at a Vet clinic in Southern Washington. The note said something about him just driving by and how he had some extra cash so he thought he’d leave it for them. He signed it “Colton Harris-Moore AKA the Barefoot Bandit.” Police matched fingerprints on the letter to him.

    • Man, oh, man is that a terribly written & edited article. “The one bounty hunter who said he was looking for the Colton is back in Washington.” The Colton? The? And that’s only one example. I mean, I am not above grammatical errors and misspellings… but I’m also not being paid by CBS to write and I most certainly do not have an editor. Venting. Venting. And done.

  3. And he is working his way out of the country. Must have got bored in the northwest 🙂
    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/sns-ap-cb-bahamas-teen-fugitive,0,6216068.story

    • Just saw that last night. Ca-rayzeee. (thanks for the link) Apparently this is good news for the sheriff’s department here on the island as he was taxing all of our limited resources. Amazing that this kid has been on the run for so long.

      • Ha ha. Maybe he will be happy in true paradise and just decide to settle there. That or his next conquest is going to be a docked cruise ship.

  4. They nabbed him in the Bahamas!
    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/sns-ap-cb-bahamas-teen-fugitive,0,6216068.story

    • Thanks for the link! I can’t believe he flew from Indiana to the Bahamas. And it makes sense that he was finally caught there since it’s so outside of what he knows. Here he was right at home. There not so much.

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