July 12, 2010
By Sarah Brown
Colton Harris-Moore, the 19-year-old fugitive suspected in numerous crimes, including thefts of cars, boats, and airplanes, is in police custody in the Bahamas.
Harris-Moore, known as the “barefoot bandit” because of bare footprints he is accused of leaving at the scene of several crimes, was wanted by police for two years. During that time he is suspected of committing at least five airplane thefts and many other crimes. Bahamas police said he was apprehended early July 11 following a boat chase.
The teenager is suspected of committing a rash of crimes in the Pacific Northwest, including western Canada, before moving eastward and committing more crimes. Police began searching for him in the Bahamas after a Cessna 400 Corvalis stolen from an Indiana airport was found in shallow waters of the island nation. Harris-Moore could now face charges connected to a string of thefts in the Bahamas before the start of extradition proceedings.
Despite the seriousness of the crimes involved, Harris-Moore has attained a sort of folk-hero status and could inspire others to attempt similar thefts, AOPA cautions. Aircraft owners should continue to follow the recommendations of AOPA’s Airport Watch Program to protect their property and aircraft.
A touch of history, affordable flying, unique sightseeing, a good meal, and a community of pilots: Isn’t that what general aviation is all about?
Getting the job done on the local and national levels requires long-term planning, a hands-on approach, and keeping the effort moving, said Sean Collins, AOPA’s Eastern regional manager.
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