Sketch of the Barefoot Bandit
Colton Harris-Moore, the Barefoot Bandit, has entered a guilty plea for federal charges related to his crime spree. Photo Credit: Wisl/Wikimedia Commons/CC-BY-SA

Colton Harris-Moore, the man dubbed the “Barefoot Bandit,” has pleaded guilty to federal charges related to his crime spree that lasted two years. Harris-Moore stole and destroyed millions of dollars in vehicles and other property and eluded authorities from 2008 to 2010, before being arrested in the Bahamas.

All rights to story go to victims

Last year, the infamous “Barefoot Bandit” was apprehended by authorities in the Bahamas after a two-year crime spree and flight from justice. The Department of Justice, according to Reuters, has seen to it that any proceeds from books, television programs or movies will be used to pay restitution to his victims. Colton Harris Moore, only 20, went on a spree of thefts that lasted from April 2008, when he escaped from a home for juvenile criminals, to July of 2010 when he was captured in the Bahamas aboard a boat he had stolen. Talk of book or Barefoot Bandit movie deals began quickly, but federal prosecutors moved to quash any chance that Harris-Moore could make a cent from his crimes. However, he and his attorney recently agreed that any proceeds he might make will pay the $1.4 million he owes in restitution already, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Guilty plea entered

Harris-Moore recently entered a guilty plea in federal court to seven charges related to burglary. Counts include stealing aircraft, boats, cars, food and other items. Prosecutors are recommending he serve six-and-a-half years in prison, but the judge may impose a harsher sentence.

The “Barefoot Bandit,” who earned his nickname for committing crimes barefoot and leaving footprints at the scene of his crimes, faces additional charges in Washington state, where he began his crime spree. According to the Seattle Times, he faces 24 charges in Island and San Juan counties of Washington of theft. There is also a pending theft charge in Snohomish county that involves theft of a firearm. That charge alone could earn Harris-Moore 10 years in prison.

Folk hero to some people

Harris-Moore became something of a folk hero to many people for eluding authorities. At one point, the Barefoot Bandit Facebook page had a massive following, with many people cheering him on. Any article on a major news site will inexorably receive comments about how “he didn’t hurt anybody” or something to that effect. Granted, the boy is certainly intelligent; he was caught in another country and was able to fly planes with no formal training whatsoever and that does make his story seem appealing to some. However, most of the things he stole ended up completely destroyed. The $150,000 Cessna airplane he stole from Seattle radio personality Bob Rivers was totaled when he crashed it in the Yakama Indian reservation, as was the plane he stole from Bloomington, Ind., that he crashed in the Bahamas in July of 2010, according to Wikipedia.

Sources

Reuters: http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/05/28/us-barefoot-bandit-idUSTRE74R01L20110528

Los Angeles Times: http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-barefoot-bandit-20110617,0,6543376.story

Seattle Times: http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2015348881_colton18m.html

Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colton_Harris-Moore

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