Colton Harris-Moore, dubbed the Barefoot Bandit, had little regard for the law and even less for the personal property of others. His two-year crime spree came to a welcome end with his capture in the Bahamas.
COLTON Harris-Moore is a troubled and dangerous youth whose two-year crime spree should not be treated by the courts or the public as a youthful lark.
The 19-year-old, dubbed the “Barefoot Bandit” for his preference of being shoeless when committing some of his crimes, left a trail of victims, many of whom cheered in supermarkets and roadways when they heard of his capture.
Harris-Moore faces charges in the Bahamas including weapons possession and burglaries allegedly committed during his weeklong hideout in the island chain.
In the Pacific Northwest, he faces a federal charge of interstate transportation of stolen property in connection with theft of an airplane in Idaho and a litany of charges in Island County Superior Court stemming from a July 2008 crime spree. That spree began after Harris-Moore escaped from a Renton halfway house where he had been serving time for burglarizing homes on Camano Island.
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Despite the youth’s wide swath of public destruction, some have misguidedly sought to make him into an international hero. More than 77,000 Facebook users are fans of a page set up in his honor. A Wikipedia page details his criminal exploits.
Such hero worshipping is potentially dangerous.
Harris-Moore is not a swashbuckling adventurer but a fugitive who put a gun to his head as authorities closed in on him during a pre-dawn boat chase. He does not need misguided fans, but rather jail time, possibly psychological help and a strict restitution plan.
The youth’s mother, Pam Kohler, reportedly plans to take advantage of the widespread interest in her son and write a book. But Kohler did a disservice to her son by publicly urging him to keep running from the law. Judging by the youth’s criminal history, Kohler is the last person on Earth who should write a mother’s tome about her son.
An obstacle to Kohler’s not-so-subtle cash-in plans should come by way of Washington state’s Son of Sam law, designed to prevent criminals and their representatives from profiting from crimes through tell-all accounts in books, magazines or movies.