Colton Harris-Moore, the "Barefoot Bandit," left $100 at a Raymond, Wash., animal hospital on a road trip that may have taken him to Oregon and now Idaho.
Colton Harris-Moore might like to tweak law enforcement by stealing boats, cars and airplanes, but he also likes animals.
That’s what Raymond Police Chief Ken Boyes believes after Harris-Moore left $100 and a note at the Vetters Animal Hospital in Raymond, Pacific County, sometime over the Memorial Day weekend.
“We learned about his affection with animals; it’s one of his causes,” said Boyes, who said no one saw the so-called “Barefoot Bandit,” and there was no evidence of any crimes in Raymond. “He just left the money at the door of the animal hospital.”
From there, evidence suggests Harris-Moore moved south into Oregon by stolen boat, and then into Idaho by stolen car.
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Harris-Moore has been wanted by authorities since April 2008 following his escape from a Renton halfway house, where he was serving time for burglarizing Camano Island homes. Since then, he has successfully avoided law enforcement while being blamed for a series of thefts, including those of boats, airplanes and luxury cars, and break-ins at homes and businesses.
Boyes said the note with $100 was discovered the morning of June 1. The information wasn’t released until this week after law enforcement determined that fingerprints on the note were Harris-Moore’s.
The hand-printed note said, “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.”
The police chief said he doesn’t know where the $100 came from, but as his sergeant told him Thursday, “It’s easy to be generous with other people’s money. We’re assured he didn’t earn it.”
Boyes said Harris-Moore enjoys taunting police. “Because of the notoriety, on some level he wants to be a folk hero,” he said.
The chief assumes Harris-Moore was driving a stolen car when he stopped in Raymond, and believes the car was likely dumped somewhere near Ilwaco because that’s where police suspect he stole a boat.
From there, it appears Harris-Moore crossed the mouth of the Columbia River to Warrenton, Ore., where, the police chief says, the teen burglar might have been involved in a string of crimes in that town. Officials are analyzing fingerprints from the boat stolen from Ilwaco, which was found tied to a pier in Warrenton.
Police there are investigating a boat theft, an attempted plane theft and a car theft that happened within hours on June 1.
And Harris-Moore apparently got hungry as he moved through Oregon. Graham Goad, manager of the McMinnville Municipal Airport, about 40 miles southwest of Portland, said he noticed food missing from his office at the airport and suspects Harris-Moore was the culprit.
He said six hot dogs and buns were gone, and his computer was reset. He locked his office when he left June 8, but the next morning it was open.
Goad said snack food also was taken from the airport’s flight school, but a basket of change was left behind.
Then Goad noticed an Enterprise rental car also was missing from the airport, and it was found at the Ontario, Ore., airport, where a pilot’s truck was missing. It was found between Ontario, near the Idaho border, and Boise, which leads Goad to believe Harris-Moore was heading to Idaho.
Ironically, said Goad, there was an airplane parked right behind his office with keys in the ignition and the door unlocked. “He could have taken it easily,” Goad said.
Goad doesn’t know whether Harris-Moore used his computer, but said the wireless router was unplugged, so he couldn’t have been sending e-mail.
Earlier this month, an anonymous donor had offered $50,000 to Harris-Moore to surrender by 3 p.m. June 8, according to an Edmonds lawyer who was handling the offer. The lawyer, Jim Johanson, said he would represent Harris-Moore, 19, free of charge as part of the arrangement.
The deadline passed with no sign of Harris-Moore.
Information from The Associated Press is included in this report.
Susan Gilmore: 206-464-2054 or firstname.lastname@example.org