Mt. Rainier and Lenticular Clouds - Dec. 2008 copyright: JMM

July 10, 2010

The Barefoot Bandit

There's a local kid from Camano Island, named Colton Harris Moore, who has been on the run for 2 years, ever since he slipped out of a group home up in Renton. He is but 19 years old now, extremely resourceful and absolutely brilliant. He has managed to make law enforcement in several states look like the Keystone Cops. He's been given the nickname, 'The Barefoot Bandit'.

I can't decide whether or not I am amused or annoyed by his antics. On the one hand, he is causing people financial loss and aggravation. But anyone who can afford to own a plane or a boat probably has the money to absorb the loss. On the other, he has not hurt anyone, and in fact he's put himself in way more danger than any citizen. He breaks into convenience stores at night to steal food and drink. He taunted the authorities several months ago by drawing giant footprints on the floor of one store. He taught himself how to fly from the internet and I think he got a DVD or something on how to fly small planes. He steals vehicles and boats with ease. He is a keen survivalist and makes his way around the San Juan Islands, including Whidbey and Camano Islands, by stealing all kinds of modes of transportation, including several small planes. It has been widely rumoured that he stole, and crash landed, the plane that belongs to local DJ Bob Rivers, from KZOK.

He crashed this one in the Cascades last summer.
His mother is extremely proud of him and refuses to help the authorities. She has nothing but awe and admiration for her son, and I really want to smack her upside the head. She even said in a recent interview that she and Colt have a deal: He is not allowed to steal and fly single engine planes and he always has to wear a parachute. HELLO!!!! I would have to say that the general public in Washington has more contempt for the mother than they do for Colton.

A month or so ago, someone offered Colton $50,000, no strings attached, if he would just turn himself in by a certain date and time. The attorney who held the money in his trust account also offered to represent Colton pro bono, so that he could use the $50,000 however he wanted instead of using it for legal fees. The date came and went. Then a bounty hunter was hired and was supposedly tracking him on Whidbey Island. Meanwhile down in Astoria, Oregon, someone was now stealing boats and planes. Oh, and on the way down, he stopped at an animal hospital in Raymond, WA, and left an envelope with $100 and a note asking them to use it for the animals. The FBI confirmed the fingerprints were Colt's. So he's galavanting around Southwestern WA and Northwestern OR while this supposedly crack bounty hunter is allegedly "tracking Colton" about 250 miles to the north. I'm sorry but I did find that incredibly amusing. He totally gave them the slip and made his way to Oregon, undetected. It was the first time he crossed the state line, that they know of, although now they are wondering if he might have been the person flying a plane that crossed into restricted airspace over Canada during the Vancouver Olympics.

No one had heard of him outside of Washington State. Until recently.

Colt has now made his way across several states, by stealing planes and Cadillac Escalades. Always Escalades. He's been spotted on security cameras in Idaho, both the Dakotas, Nebraska, Iowa and the midwest. In South Dakota, a man came home to find a naked man in his house, eating his food, and having done his laundry. The naked man grabbed his clothes and disappeared into the night. It was Colt. His latest coup was stealing a plane from Indiana or Illinois, flying it to the Bahamas, and crash landing in a marsh. He's on the run in the Bahamas, island hopping, and has broken into convenience stores down there too.

Of course a cottage industry has sprung up, hoping to make a quick buck off the latest weird news story of the day. Americans love an underdog on the run from the evil authorities, especially when he hasn't hurt anyone.

I certainly would not want any of my stuff stolen and wrecked, or have my grocery store broken into. However, the few homes he's been in haven't been ransacked. He takes food and drink and money that's lying around. I haven't heard of any expensive jewelry or electronics being stolen. He hasn't hurt a single person or animal. And he is obviously incredibly bright. I'm even trying to think of who is going to play him in the movie. I'm thinking Kathy Bates for his mom. And as one who has never been a huge fan of law enforcement, I am getting a charge out of the fact that this 19 year old kid, who has been on the run since age 17, is always keeping one step ahead of them. By the time they discover evidence of where he's been, he's loooooong gone. So yeah, from that point of view I find myself thinking, "I hope he gets away." The cops cannot seem to find evidence that he's being helped by anyone or in contact with anyone either. If Colton Harris Moore is indeed acting alone, by his own wits and intelligence, then man alive, he needs to be found and his powers used for good. What an incredible talent he has, if only he was channeling it into something a bit more productive.

But this can't last forever. And he is in serious trouble now. He has now executed an international crime spree. Successfully too, I might add. So far. His last plane landing in the Bahamas was a rough one, and it was initially thought that he could be injured. How in the world did he fly from the midwest USA all the way to the Bahamas, without once having checked in with air traffic control? Do small planes not have to radio in as they pass through urban airspace?

I can't help but wonder how this is going to play out. He's either laughing at everyone or panicking and trying to get as far away from here as possible, making it worse with every illegal border crossing in a stolen plane, boat or Caddy. I have a feeling that the end is drawing near, and it's not going to be pretty no matter what happens. He is now completely at the mercy of the authorities in another country. Or countries, because by now, he could be in South America. That is, if he doesn't die in a plane crash or get himself shot. If he is panicking, then he is going to start making mistakes, which could be deadly.

Who knows. Maybe he's really Harry Potter, has an Invisibility Cloak and can Apparate.

UPDATE: Colton Harris Moore has been captured by the Bahamian authorities!


  1. Anonymous2:55 PM

    Oh Wow, what an incredible story. It sounds like a prank gone wild. Maybe he is a little A.D.D and needs to channel his energy into something productive. His brilliance is being wasted. I think he's being selfish. Mind you he is only 19, sounds like he has some maturing to do.

  2. I literally don't know what to say!

  3. Kathleen4:44 PM

    I still think he should've learned how to land the damn plane by now. Haha.

  4. Anonymous2:28 PM


  5. Colt's luck finally ran out and he's been captured. I am not sure what's going to happen to him now, but his run is finally over. At least no one got hurt.