The mother of teen fugitive Colton Harris-Moore has a message for him: "Be careful, I love you and get in touch with John Henry Browne — please," according to CBS News.
The mother of teen fugitive Colton Harris-Moore has a message for him: “Be careful, I love you and get in touch with [attorney] John Henry Browne — please,” according to CBS News.
In the past week, a whirlwind of burglaries and car thefts in South Dakota, Nebraska and Iowa are suspected to be the work of Harris-Moore, a self-taught pilot known for stealing planes and eluding police. Before that, there was evidence he’d left Washington and gone to Oregon and Idaho.
“When the cops come and bother me that’s when I think ‘Run, Colton, run. Fly, Colton, fly.’ I’m proud he taught hisself how to fly,” Pam Kohler, Harris-Moore’s mother, told CBS News last week.
Harris-Moore, 19, dubbed the “Barefoot Bandit,” has been on the run since April 2008, when he escaped from a group home south of Seattle.
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Browne, a Seattle defense attorney, has offered to represent Harris-Moore but could not be reached Tuesday for comment.
Harris-Moore has been suspected of burglaries or boat and car thefts in five Washington counties, Oregon, Idaho and British Columbia. Now, Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota are added to the list since a man with Harris-Moore’s description was linked to burglaries and car thefts in those three states.
As best as detectives in various police agencies can piece together, someone has gone on a six-state crime spree this month, and Harris-Moore is thought to be responsible for at least some of the crimes:
• Over Memorial Day weekend, Harris-Moore left a signed note and $100 at the door of an animal hospital in Raymond, Pacific County.
• He allegedly stole a boat in Ilwaco, crossed the mouth of the Columbia River to Warrenton, Ore., where the stolen boat was found. The police chief there says Harris-Moore might have been involved in a string of crimes, including another boat theft, an attempted plane theft and a car theft within hours on June 1.
• Two stolen cars and another airport break-in later, Harris-Moore made it to the Idaho border around June 8, according to police.
• The next sighting was nearly a week later, on Thursday, when a Yankton, S.D., family returning home from vacation found a nude man matching the description of Harris-Moore inside their house. He had eaten, showered and apparently given himself a haircut. The suspect threatened the homeowner and said, “Stop or I’ll shoot,” and the homeowner saw a red-laser dot on his chest, according to CBS News, but could not tell whether the dot came from a gun sight or a laser pointer.
• Less than a day later, a 2008 white Toyota Sequoia was stolen from that same area, and turned up in Norfolk, Neb., Sunday morning. There was a break-in reported that day at Karl Stefan Memorial Airport in Norfolk, about one mile south of where the sport-utility vehicle was abandoned.
• A 2008 Escalade stolen from Norfolk was found Monday at Schiebout Tire Co. in Pella, Iowa, according to the police there.
• Also Monday, a van and cash were stolen from Classic Aviation in Pella. The van turned up in about 50 miles away in Ottumwa, Iowa, Tuesday, according to the Pella Police Department.
Pella, Norfolk and Yankton police departments have not confirmed or denied Harris-Moore’s involvement and will continue investigations. Police have sent information, including fingerprint files and photos, to South Dakota police but said it could take at least a week for DNA results.
Lauren C. Williams: 206-464-3195