Colton Harris-Moore, also known as the Barefoot Bandit, is an American criminal from Camano Island, Washington. By the end of his crime spree he was charged with interstate transportation of a stolen aircraft, interstate and foreign transport of a stolen gun and interstate transport of a stolen boat, bank robbery, flying a plane without a pilot’s license, attempting to elude, being a fugitive in possession of a gun, burglary, identity theft, and motor vehicle theft.
He grew up in his mother’s house in Camano Island, Washington. While he was growing up his father was very abusive to him. This caused him to have altercations at school, not listen to teachers, and break things. At the age of seven, Colton started to live in the wilderness and supported himself by breaking into vacation homes for supplies, although he still resided at home he supplied himself with everything he needed. He had his first conviction at the age of 12 and then three more by 13. Colton never received more than a 10 day sentence for each conviction. In 2003 police officers found a stolen camcorder in his house and sentenced him to three years in a halfway house which he later escaped.
It is believed that he is responsible for 100 thefts of bicycles, cars, aircrafts, and speedboats in Washington, Idaho, and Canada. Authorities believe that he learned to fly planes from reading books and using airplane simulators. He used these skills to steal a $150,000 Cessna 182 from radio personality Bob Walters. Unfortunately he did not make it far in the plane, Colton had to crash land the plane in the Yakama Indian Reservation. According to local sheriffs he once broke into a home to use a computer and owners credit card to purchase $6,000 night vision goggles.
Sometime in 2010 an animal shelter received a letter containing $100 and a note from the Barefoot Bandit. The note said, “Drove by, had some extra cash. Please use this money for the care of animals”.
In late June 2010, Colton fled across the country in stolen vehicles to Indiana. There he stole another plane which he again crashed landed, except this time it was in the shoreline waters of Great Abaco Island in the Bahamas. Colton Harris-Moore was captured in the Bahamas by the Royal Bahamian Police Force and the FBI. People who had seen him on the island called in to the tip line and gave him up. Local officers picked up his trail after he attempted to steal a 44 ft. power boat. Colton tried to escape, but officers shot out his engine so he couldn’t. Right after Colton realized his boat’s engine had been destroyed he threw his portable computer into the water and put a gun to his head. Police reasoned with him and arrested him. After he was arrested he told officers that he was planning on fleeing to Cuba.
On December 16, 2011 Colton was sentenced to seven years in prison at Island County jail in Washington. There was a Facebook page dedicated to him with over 60,000 members. He said that he was genuinely remorseful for his crimes and that when he got out of prison he would like to apply to college to become an aeronautical engineer. He did all of this before his 20th birthday.
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