Colton Harris-Moore

Colton Harris-Moore
Born March 22, 1991 (1991-03-22) (age 20)
Camano Island, Washington, U.S.
Other names "Barefoot Bandit"
"Barefoot Burglar"
(aliases) Colton A. Harris, Colton A. Harris-Molton, Colton Harris, Colton Moore, Colton A. Moore, Colton Koehler
Citizenship United States
Known for Theft
Height 6 ft 5 in (1.98 meters) [1]
Weight 205 pounds (93 kilograms)
Criminal charge Interstate transportation of a stolen aircraft, interstate transport of a stolen gun and boat, flying a plane without a pilot's license, attempting to elude, being a fugitiive in possession of a gun, burglary, identity theft, illegal entry, illegally landing a plane, malicious mischief, motor vehicle theft, possession of stolen property, theft by unlawful taking or disposition
Criminal status Plead guilty, awaiting sentencing.
Parents Gordon Moore
Pamela A. Kohler

Colton A. "Colt" Harris-Moore (born March 22, 1991) is a criminal and former fugitive from Camano Island, Washington. He was charged with the thefts of small aircraft, a boat, and two cars and in the burglaries of at least 100 private residences in various locations around the Pacific Northwest of the United States and Canada. He fled to the Bahamas on July 4, 2010, allegedly in a plane stolen from Bloomington, Indiana.[10] He was indicted on July 6, 2010, by a U.S. Federal Court in Seattle, Washington, on charges of transporting another stolen aircraft in that state. Harris-Moore was arrested in Harbour Island, Bahamas, on July 11, 2010, after police shot out the engine of the boat in which he was attempting to flee.[5] Two days later, he was deported from Nassau, Bahamas, to Miami, Florida, and transferred on July 21 to the Federal Detention Center, SeaTac in Washington State.[9] On June 17, 2011 Harris-Moore pled guilty to seven felony charges against him, and was scheduled to be sentenced in October, but then the sentencing hearing was delayed to December.[11]

He became known as the "Barefoot Bandit" by reportedly committing some of his crimes barefoot, once leaving behind 39 chalk footprints and the word "c'ya!". Despite the widely-reported nickname, officials said that he more often wore shoes.[3]



Harris-Moore grew up in his mother's house in Camano Island, Washington.[12] Neighbors said they made several calls to Child Protective Services, believing he was neglected or abused.[12] His father, Gordon Moore, used drugs and was in prison while Colton was a toddler.[3] When Colton was twelve years old, his abusive father walked out after attempting to choke him during an argument at a family barbecue.[13][14] According to his mother, Pamela Kohler, his stepfather died when he was about seven years old, and from the time Colton was in the first grade, she knew there was "something off about him" – "sort of a disconnection". He wouldn't listen to his teachers, started altercations at school, and would sometimes deliberately break things around the house, Kohler said.[15] According to a court-ordered psychiatric evaluation, Harris-Moore said that his mother drank and became mean, breaking his possessions.[3] He started living in the wild at the age of seven, and would break into vacation homes in the area, stealing blankets, food and water before disappearing into the forest for days.[15] His first conviction for stolen property came at age 12, and by the time he was 13, he had three more. He has been diagnosed with depression, attention deficit disorder and intermittent explosive disorder.[16] Each conviction brought a 10-day stay in a detention center, or community service. His mother once said, "Every time he had anything any good, everyone thought he stole it. What does that do to a kid?"[17] In 2003, police found a neighbor's camcorder in his home. Never before sentenced to more than a month,[12] he fled a three-year sentence by walking out of a halfway house in April 2008.[18]

Suspected offenses

Cessna 182T
Cessna/Columbia 400
A Cessna 182T (top) and Cessna 400 (bottom), similar to airplanes allegedly stolen by Harris-Moore.

Harris-Moore is suspected of being responsible for approximately 100 thefts in Washington, Idaho, and Canada, including bicycles, automobiles, light aircraft, and speedboats.[13] It is believed that he learned how to fly small planes by reading aircraft manuals, handbooks, watching a "How to fly a small airplane" DVD, and playing flight simulator computer games.[15] One plane he stole was a Cessna 182 belonging to KZOK-FM radio personality Bob Rivers, valued at US$150,000. The plane was later recovered from the Yakama Indian Reservation, though it was so badly damaged that it was a total loss.[18] According to local sheriffs, he would often slip into a home just to soak in a hot bath or steal ice cream from the freezer. Initially, he would steal only what he needed for living in the woods as a survivalist. Once, he allegedly used a homeowner's computer and credit card to order bear mace and a pair of US$6,500 night vision goggles.[13]

On May 30 or 31, 2010, police found a handwritten note and US$100 at a veterinary clinic in Raymond, Washington, approximately 95 miles (150 km) southwest of Seattle. The note read:[19]

Drove by, had some extra cash. Please use this money for the care of animals
—Colton Harris-Moore, (AKA: "The Barefoot Bandit"), Camano Island, WA.

In late June 2010, Colton was suspected of vehicle thefts stretching as far east as Illinois. The trail of suspected thefts attributed to him passes through Idaho, South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, and Illinois. Police found a 2008 white Toyota Sequoia in Norfolk, Nebraska, which was reported stolen in Yankton, South Dakota. Later that day, several burglaries were reported at Karl Stefan Memorial Airport, located 1 mile (2 km) south of where the SUV was abandoned.[20][21] A truck owned by the town of Ottumwa, Iowa was later recovered in Dallas City, Illinois.[22] On July 4, 2010, a Cessna 400 single-engine plane was reported stolen from the Bloomington, Indiana airport – it was later found crashed in the shoreline waters of Great Abaco Island in the Bahamas, again leading to speculation that Harris-Moore was responsible.[23] Shortly afterward, there were several break-ins reported across the island.[24] The Royal Bahamas Police Force placed wanted posters across the island that featured the teenager. One bartender claimed to have spotted him in a sports bar on Tuesday, July 6, 2010, stating that he drank a beer and left after five minutes. He says that Harris-Moore was wearing a cap over his shaved head and was barefoot.[25]

On July 6, 2010, an indictment was released from a federal judge of the U.S. District Court of Western Washington, which was originally filed in December 2009.[26] This indictment cites Harris-Moore for interstate transport of stolen property/airplane theft, related to a plane stolen from Bonners Ferry, Idaho that crashed outside of Granite Falls, Washington. The FBI placed a $10,000 bounty for information leading to his arrest, and federal agents believed that he was responsible for the recent Indiana theft.[10]


FDC Miami
FDC SeaTac
After being captured, Harris-Moore spent his time in the United States at federal detention centers in Miami (top) and SeaTac (bottom).

On July 11, 2010, Harris-Moore was captured just before dawn at Harbour Island, Bahamas.[27] Local officers picked up his trail in Eleuthera after recovering a 44 foot (13 meter) power boat stolen from a marina on Great Abaco. A police official said the suspect attempted to flee, but police shot out the engine on his boat.[28] Before being arrested, Harris-Moore threw his portable computer into the water and put a gun to his head, but the police talked him out of killing himself.[6] He told the police that he intended to go to Cuba to throw authorities off his trail and proceed to the Turks and Caicos Islands.[29] His mother had hoped that he would flee to a country that did not have an extradition treaty with the United States.[28]

In March 2011, FBI Special Agent Fred Gutt confirmed the reward fund payout: "The $10,000 bounty money was paid out to people directly involved in (Harris-Moore's) capture." The reward money was split among Jordan Sackett, Capt. Ronald Billiot, Capt. Patrick Young, Capt. Ben Johnson and Kenny Strachan, a security guard at the Romora Bay Resort.[30]

Criminal proceedings

Harris-Moore pleaded guilty on July 13, 2010, to illegal entry to the Bahamas and illegally landing a plane. He was sentenced to three months in jail or a $300 fine.[6] Harris-Moore's mother wired the money to the U.S. Embassy in Nassau, which in turn paid the fine.[31] He was deported the same day via overnight commercial flight, accompanied by Bahamian authorities and United States agents of the FBI to Miami, Florida. On July 14, Harris-Moore appeared before U.S. Magistrate Robert Dube to determine his legal representation, which had been hired on his behalf by his mother.[29]

In a hearing on July 16, 2010, in the U.S. District Court of Southern Florida, Judge Dube ruled that Harris-Moore would be sent to Washington state to face charges there first because he was arrested under their warrant. Harris-Moore waived his right to an extradition hearing. He was held at the Federal Detention Center in Miami until July 21,[32] when he was transferred by the Justice Prisoner and Alien Transportation System to the Federal Detention Center in SeaTac, Washington. He was required to wear handcuffs and leg irons while being transported to Washington.[33] A federal judge at the U.S. District Court of Western Washington in Seattle set a November 15 deadline for prosecutors to have Harris-Moore formally indicted by a federal grand jury.[26] However, Harris-Moore waived his right to a speedy trial, permitting both the defense and the prosecution more time to prepare for the case.[34] On November 18, 2010, Harris-Moore pleaded not guilty in federal court to charges of interstate transportation of a stolen plane, boat and gun, and of being a fugitive in possession of a firearm and of flying a plane without a pilot's license.[1]

On September 30, 2010, Harley Davidson Ironwing, a self-described associate of Harris-Moore's burglaries, pleaded guilty to assault and was sentenced to 18 months in prison.[35]

On 17 June 2011 Federal prosecutors recommended that Harris-Moore be sentenced to 6 years in prison. Harris-Moore pleaded guilty to all 7 counts on the Federal indictment. The Washington State Court, however, has recommended that he be sentenced to 10 years in prison for a break-in and burglary near Granite Falls, Washington.[36]


Harris-Moore became known as the "Barefoot Bandit" or as the "Barefoot Burglar", by reportedly committing some of his crimes while barefoot.[4] In Fall 2009, police found footprints at an airport hangar in Bonners Ferry, Idaho; a Cessna 182 stolen from there crash-landed approximately 260 miles (420 km) to the west near Granite Falls, Washington after a few unsuccessful attempts to land at the small airport there. Police in the San Juan Islands also found cartoonish, chalk-outlines of feet drawn upon the floor of a grocery store that was broken into in February 2010.[19] Harris-Moore became an internet sensation with a Facebook fan page set up by Zack Sestak drawing about 42,000 members. Sestak stated that Harris-Moore is "the right criminal at the right time."[18][37] A local Seattle man started selling T-shirts bearing Harris-Moore's picture with the words, "Momma Tried."[17] Local people from Camano Island also attempted to vent their frustrations through a song,[38] as well as a blog which included the sale of merchandise and accepted donations to purchase the services of a bounty hunter.[39] In April 2010, 20th Century Fox purchased the film rights to the book Taking Flight: The Hunt for a Young Outlaw, based on a proposal by Bob Friel.[40] Harris-Moore's mother has retained celebrity lawyer O. Yale Lewis to seek control of entertainment interests related to her son. She has also hired John Henry Browne to handle her son's criminal defense.[41] Under a plea deal, Harris-Moore agreed to forfeit any profits from selling publishing rights to his story.[42]


  1. ^ a b Myers, Laura (18 November 2010). "'Barefoot bandit' suspect pleads innocent". Vancouver Sun. Retrieved 19 November 2010. 
  2. ^ Mueller, Robert S.. "Colton A. Harris-Moore (Wanted by the FBI)". Federal Bureau of Investigation. Archived from the original on July 7, 2010. Retrieved July 10, 2010. 
  3. ^ a b c d Holtz, Jackson (July 12, 2010). "Colton Harris-Moore captured in the Bahamas". The Herald. Retrieved July 12, 2010. 
  4. ^ a b Reynolds, Megan; Melia, Mike (July 8, 2010). "Authorities target 'barefoot burglar' in Bahamas". MSNBC. Retrieved July 13, 2010. 
  5. ^ a b Owens, Ryan; Netter, Sarah (July 13, 2010). "'Barefoot Bandit' Colton Harris-Moore Deported to Miami". ABC News. Retrieved July 13, 2010. 
  6. ^ a b c Hayes, Ashley (July 13, 2010). "'Barefoot bandit' pleads guilty in the Bahamas". CNN. Retrieved July 13, 2010. 
  7. ^ "State of Washington vs. Colton A. Harris-Moore". Associated Press. September 29, 2009. Retrieved July 14, 2010. 
  8. ^ "The State of Nebraska vs. Colton A. Harris-MoltonMoore". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. June 29, 2010. Retrieved July 14, 2010. 
  9. ^ a b "Colton Harris-Moore Lands In Seattle". Q13 FOX. July 21, 2010.,0,1611447.story. Retrieved July 21, 2010. 
  10. ^ a b Falcon, Gabriel (July 6, 2010). "'Barefoot bandit' faces indictment". CNN. Retrieved July 7, 2010. 
  11. ^ Miller, Alyssa. "Harris-Moore pleads guilty to stealing aircraft, more". AOPA. Retrieved 8 July 2011. 
  12. ^ a b c Brooks, Diane (February 11, 2007). "Camano teen is ‘in the right place now’". The Seattle Times. Retrieved October 9, 2009. 
  13. ^ a b c McGirk, Tim (December 21, 2009). "America's Most Wanted Teenage Bandit". Time.,9171,1946950,00.html. Retrieved July 2, 2010. 
  14. ^ Oppmann, Patrick (July 22, 2010). "Court records reveal barefoot bandit's troubled childhood". CNN. Retrieved July 22, 2010. 
  15. ^ a b c "Colton Harris-Moore, the barefoot boy bandit, outfoxes sheriffs". The Sunday Times (London). December 6, 2009. Retrieved July 3, 2010. 
  16. ^,,20403939,00.html
  17. ^ a b Johnson, Gene (October 6, 2009). "Teen burglar's mom: 'I hope he stole those planes'". KATU. Retrieved July 3, 2010. 
  18. ^ a b c Stevick, Eric (October 9, 2009). "Teen fugitive Colton Harris-Moore becomes a national celebrity". The Herald. Retrieved July 3, 2010. 
  19. ^ a b "'Barefoot Bandit' Leaves Note, $100 At Raymond Vet Clinic". KIRO-TV. June 17, 2010. Retrieved July 3, 2010. 
  20. ^ Flandro, Carly (June 22, 2010). "Possible 'Barefoot Bandit' sightings: S.D., Nebraska". The Seattle Times. Retrieved July 3, 2010. 
  21. ^ "'Barefoot Bandit' now wanted in Nebraska". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. June 29, 2010. Retrieved July 2, 2010. 
  22. ^ Holtz, Jackson (June 24, 2010). "Harris-Moore's trail extends to Illinois". The Herald. Retrieved July 2, 2010. 
  23. ^ Holtz, Jackson (July 5, 2010). "Has 'Barefoot Bandit' hit the Tropics?". KOMO-TV. Retrieved July 6, 2010. 
  24. ^ Falcon, Gabriel (July 8, 2010). "Possible sighting of 'barefoot bandit' reported in Bahamas". CNN. Retrieved July 9, 2010. 
  25. ^ "Barefoot Bandit on the run in the Bahamas, after ditching light aircraft stolen from Indiana". Daily Mail. July 9, 2010. Retrieved July 9, 2010. 
  26. ^ a b "'Barefoot bandit' suspect set for transfer to Washington". CNN. July 16, 2010. Retrieved July 17, 2010. 
  27. ^ "Barefoot Bandit caught in Bahamas". The Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. July 12, 2010. Retrieved July 12, 2010. 
  28. ^ a b McCartney, Juan; Melia, Mike (July 11, 2010). "'Barefoot Bandit' nabbed after 2 years as fugitive". Associated Press. ABC News. Retrieved July 12, 2010. 
  29. ^ a b Anderson, Curt (July 14, 2010). "Accused 'Barefoot Bandit' has US court appearance". Associated Press. ABC News. Retrieved July 14, 2010. 
  30. ^
  31. ^ Holtz, Jackson (July 15, 2010). "Harris-Moore appears in Miami court". The Herald. Retrieved July 15, 2010. 
  32. ^ "'Barefoot bandit' deported back to the US". Agence France-Presse. July 13, 2010. Retrieved July 18, 2010. 
  33. ^ Carter, Mike (July 20, 2010). "'Barefoot Bandit' to fly on 'Con-Air'". The Seattle Times. Retrieved July 26, 2010. 
  34. ^ O'Hagan, Jeremiah (August 31, 2010). "Harris-Moore waives right to speedy trial". Stanwood/Camano News. Retrieved August 31, 2010. 
  35. ^ "Barefoot Bandit buddy sentence in Everett". The Seattle Times. Associated Press. October 1, 2010. Retrieved October 7, 2010. 
  36. ^
  37. ^ Ebner, Mark (March 18, 2010). "Wanted: Colton Harris-Moore, An American Outlaw". Maxim. Retrieved August 24, 2010. 
  38. ^ Coleman, Vernal (May 6, 2010). "Camano Islanders Vent Frustration Over Colton Harris Song". Seattle Weekly. Retrieved July 3, 2010. 
  39. ^ Coleman, Vernal (May 17, 2010). "Colton Harris-Moore Haters Now Have a Home on the Web". Seattle Weekly. Retrieved July 3, 2010. 
  40. ^ "20th Century Fox is Taking Flight". April 12, 2010. Retrieved July 2, 2010. 
  41. ^ Sullivan, Jennifer; Carter, Mike (9 July 2010). "Law would allow mom to cash in on 'Bandit' son". The Seattle Times. Retrieved 2010-07-10 
  42. ^

External links

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