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  • The public loves an outlaw, often rooting for these charismatic criminals even as they

  • weave a trail of chaos across the country.

  • Who could forget the daring sky-high plane hijacking of the anonymous DB Cooper, who

  • collected his ransom money and escaped via parachute - never to be seen again?

  • Or the notorious Billy the Kid, who rose from being an orphaned petty crook to one of the

  • most terrifying gunfighters in the wild west?

  • But those days of wild crime sprees are long gone...right?

  • Not quite.

  • In the early 2000s, a notorious criminal terrorized the Pacific Northwest, committing countless

  • crimes of larceny, grand theft, and escapes from the authorities.

  • The only thing more shocking than his seemingly endless desire to break the law...was the

  • fact that he was only a kid.

  • The trouble started early for Colton Harris Moore when he was a boy growing up in Mount

  • Vernon, Washington.

  • He grew up with his parents, but his father Gordon was a drug addict and spent time in

  • prison before walking out on the family.

  • Neighbors worried that Colton's mother wasn't taking good care of him, and his teachers

  • were worried - he didn't like to listen to instructions and was constantly getting

  • into fights.

  • When he talked to a therapist, he said his mother was a drunk who would break his things.

  • It wasn't long before Colton would find more serious trouble.

  • Tired of living at home with his troubled mother, Colton was living on his own by the

  • age of seven.

  • He spent some of his time in the woods surrounding Mount Vernon, but there were more inviting

  • targets - the many vacation homes near the city.

  • He would break into them for supplies, essentially building himself a little camp in the woods.

  • It wasn't long before the police caught up to him, and he became an unusually young

  • convict for possession of stolen property.

  • He had been arrested four times by thirteen, and with a young white criminal the authorities

  • are usually more interested in trying to help them stay out of trouble.

  • He got ten days in juvenile detention, but that included meetings with therapists who

  • said he had depression, attention deficit disorder, and intermittent explosive disorder.

  • They hoped his stays in juvie would set him on the straight and narrow.

  • Colton had other plans.

  • His petty crimes took a more serious turn when he was caught possessing a neighbor's

  • stolen camcorder.

  • Eventually, he would be sentenced to a longer term of three months in a halfway house - but

  • that was too long for him to stay put.

  • One day in 2008, he simply walked away and disappeared back into the wild.

  • Colton Moore was 17 now, and he was ready to take his criminal campaign to the next

  • level.

  • The authorities of the Pacific Northwest were not ready to take on this precocious career

  • criminal.

  • Moore knew the area inside and out from his years slipping around the woods undetected.

  • Now that he planned to live the outlaw life, he had no problem breaking into countless

  • houses to get whatever he needed.

  • Sometimes he would take a bath.

  • Sometimes he would steal ice cream - even outlaws need their sweet treats.

  • Other times he would take advantage in more expensive ways - he once stole a homeowner's

  • credit card and snuck on their computer to order high-end night vision goggles and a

  • can of bear mace - a good investment for someone living in the Washington woods.

  • But his tastes were getting more and more expensive.

  • Moore was Washington's problem alone - until he wasn't.

  • Soon, in states including Idaho, South Dakota, Nebraska, and even as far east as Iowa and

  • Illinois, the authorities were noticing a pattern.

  • Cars were going missing and showing up in completely different places.

  • And everywhere these stolen cars popped up, burglaries soon followed.

  • Authorities soon assumed that this mysterious burglar was taking cars from one place, driving

  • them to another and abandoning them, and picking up a new car in the area to drive on to parts

  • unknown.

  • Colton Moore had learned the criminal trade well, and this tactic made it very hard for

  • anyone to keep tabs on him - because they never knew what he'd be driving.

  • But his riskiest heists were still ahead of him.

  • Moore was suspected of over a hundred thefts, including some in Canada, and he stole speedboats

  • in addition to cars.

  • But he had a taste for dangerous games, and that led him to an obsession - with aircraft.

  • He picked up books and DVDs on how to fly small airplanes, and eventually escalated

  • to stealing privately owned planes and using them to fly to safety.

  • He even managed to rip off a celebrity, taking the Cessna owned by rock radio personality

  • and novelty musician Bob Rivers.

  • The plane was eventually found - in a Yakama Indian reservation site on tribal land.

  • But as extreme as his crimes got, Colton Harris Moore wasn't all bad.

  • He liked stealing vehicles, making fast escapes, and taking what he needed from people's

  • homes.

  • But there were things he didn't do in his crime spree.

  • He never hurt anyone.

  • He never used a weapon to steal a car.

  • He never ripped off anyone just for money, only stealing essentials and supplies.

  • And he even seemed to have a soft spot for animals.

  • A veterinary clinic about two hours south of Seattle was surprised one day when they

  • found a note from Colton in 2010, saying he had some extra money and wanted to help them

  • take care of the animals.

  • Surprisingly, it was signed, and even referred to himself by a nickname - the Barefoot Bandit,

  • which he had picked up by reportedly committing some of his heists barefoot.

  • Colton Harris Moore was getting bold - and that would be his undoing.

  • Colton made a critical mistake when he started stealing vehicles and driving them across

  • state lines, and especially when he started stealing aircraft.

  • That got the attention of the federal government, and for the first time there was a concentrated

  • law enforcement effort at tracking him down.

  • In July 2010, a federal Judge in Washington handed down an extensive indictment.

  • Not only did it charge Moore with a federal crime related to his theft of a plane from

  • Idaho, but it put out a ten thousand dollar bounty for information leading to his arrest.

  • The walls were closing in on Colton's crime spree - so it was time for his most daring

  • escape yet.

  • The Bloomington, Indiana airport wasn't usually a hub of activity, but it became the

  • center of a federal investigation when a Cessna 400 airplane went missing - matching the pattern

  • of thefts of the barefoot bandit.

  • This attracted even more attention when the plane was found crashed in the waters by the

  • Bahamas.

  • Had the pilot survived?

  • No one was sure at first - but they got a clue when a series of break-ins happened on

  • Great Abaco Island.

  • Colton had fled the country, and was now continuing his crime spree in the Caribbean island nation.

  • But not for long.

  • It was one week after the plane disappeared in Indiana, and authorities zeroed in on Harbour

  • Island in the Bahamas.

  • The local officers had been keeping track of thefts about the island, and when they

  • found a power boat stolen from another island, they were on the trail.

  • Things moved fast, as Colton attempted to flee on a stolen boat.

  • Police took aim - and shot out the motor of his boat!

  • Colton was stranded and surrounded, but he wasn't going easily.

  • He threw his computer into the water, making sure his secrets would sink to the bottom

  • of the sea, and pulled out a gun.

  • In a tense standoff, the police managed to talk him out of shooting himself, and he was

  • taken into custody.

  • He had planned to flee to Cuba, which had no extradition treaty, but instead he would

  • be headed back to the United States to face trial for a long list of crimes.

  • But the drama in his case was far from over.

  • Five people, including three police officers and a security guard, split the reward money

  • for Moore's capture, and Moore knew he was caught red-handed.

  • After being charged for illegal entry in the Bahamas and paying a fine, he was deported

  • to the United States.

  • At his trial, he was sent back to Washington to face federal and local charges.

  • After a partner of his with the unique name of Harley Davidson Ironwing pled guilty, Moore

  • had little chance of success at trial.

  • He ultimately decided to plead guilty to all the counts against him and hope for leniency.

  • It turns out, Colton Moore's good luck wasn't quite over yet.

  • While the judge saw a 20-year-old convicted of serious crimes, she also took into consideration

  • his troubled childhood and his statements of remorse.

  • While she did sentence him to seven years in prison - less than the ten years the prosecutors

  • wanted - she also allowed him to serve them consecutively with his state prison sentence,

  • allowing him to be out of prison before his twenties were over.

  • Moore vowed to make the most of his time in prison, bettering himself - by studying aeronautical

  • engineering.

  • What could go wrong with the Barefoot Bandit learning how to build his own plane?

  • Colton's flashy crimes and young age led many people to compare him to an even more

  • high-profile outlaw - the legendary Frank Abagnale, who started a crime spree of forgery

  • and impersonation when he was only 15 in the 1960s.

  • Abagnale posed as a doctor, a prison official, a lawyer, and even an airplane pilot several

  • times before he was finally caught - even escaping from federal prison once.

  • While his crimes eventually caught up to him, he cut a plea deal with the federal government

  • and went to work for them - serving only five years in prison and beginning a lifelong career

  • as an associate of the FBI.

  • His story was even made into a movie starring Leonardo Di Caprio.

  • So will a similar fate await the Barefoot Bandit?

  • Outlook so far is...cloudy.

  • Moore served less than five years of his seven-year sentence, being released from custody in 2016

  • at only twenty-five years old.

  • He went to a halfway house in Seattle, was given a job as a clerk by his defense attorney,

  • and had to start paying off the $129,000 in money he owes to the many, many people he

  • stole from.

  • He even made an attempt to raise money for flight school - but his parole officer put

  • the kibosh on that, ordering the social media campaign taken down and any money raised to

  • be sent to pay his debts.

  • The Barefoot Bandit would have to wait longer before getting back to the air.

  • That didn't mean his reputation wasn't still sky-high.

  • Colton Harris Moore may have been caught and sent to pay his debt to society, but he had

  • already become immortal.

  • His daring thefts, unique shoeless style, and animal-friendly nature led to him gaining

  • a huge fanbase.

  • During his crime spree, websites were started by his fans, T-shirts were printed with his

  • face on it, and folk songs were written about him - both supporting him, and by locals from

  • the Bahamas complaining about him.

  • They even tried to raise money to hire a bounty hunter.

  • While Moore can't earn any money off his story due to his plea deal, a book was written

  • about him, and the rights were quickly sold to 20th Century Fox while Colton was still

  • on the run.

  • In 2014, a documentary about the case premiered at a film festival and featured interviews

  • with his mother and the FBI agents who captured him.

  • A Canadian documentary soon followed, as he had picked up a lot of attention during his

  • brief foray into the county.

  • All these were done without Colton's direct involvement.

  • But what of the man behind the crime spree?

  • Where is he now?

  • Colton was never one to shy away from the limelight, and even while still in prison

  • he briefly released a controversial blog going into his political views.

  • And now that he's out, he's stayed out of trouble with the law - for the longest

  • stretch in his life - and was looking forward to getting started on a promising career in

  • public speaking.

  • There was just one problem - his probation.

  • The terms of his release meant he had to obey strict travel restrictions until 2019.

  • When he asked a judge to release him early, he brought dozens of letters of support including

  • from a famous conservative radio host - and the man who owned the airplane he crashed

  • in the Bahamas.

  • His probation was set to expire in late 2019.

  • And that means the Barefoot Bandit could be coming to an airport near you.

  • For more on other notorious cases where kids got into trouble with the law, check outWeird

  • Times Police Arrested Kids”, or check out this video instead.

The public loves an outlaw, often rooting for these charismatic criminals even as they

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Teenage Outlaw Steals Plane in Insane Police Chase

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    林宜悉 posted on 2021/02/27
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