Teen ‘bare­foot bandit’ hunted in Ba­hamas for string of break-ins

Austin American-Statesman - - THURSDAYBRIEFING -

MARSH HAR­BOUR, Ba­hamas — A teenage thief who hop­scotched his way across the U.S. and es­caped in a stolen plane to the Ba­hamas lived up to his leg­end Wed­nes­day, elud­ing a man­hunt af­ter al­legedly com­mit­ting a new se­ries of break-ins on a nor­mally quiet is­land.

Ba­hamian po­lice in­ter­viewed bur­glary vic­tims while search­ing for Colton Har­ris-Moore on Great Abaco Is­land days af­ter the fugi­tive — dubbed the “bare­foot bandit” for al­legedly com­mit­ting some crimes while shoe­less — crash-landed the plane and made his way to shore.

As­sis­tant Po­lice Com­mis­sioner Glenn Miller said Har­ris-Moore is a sus­pect in the bur­glary of at least seven homes and busi­nesses on Great Abaco, the largest of dozens of small is­lands that are a part of the Ba­hamas ar­chi­pel­ago east of Florida.

The 19-year-old has been taunt­ing po­lice in a cat-and-mouse game for more than two years, start­ing in Washington state with small-time bur­glar­ies and es­ca­lat­ing with the al­leged theft of air­planes, boats and lux­ury ve­hi­cles. The cases were con­cen­trated in the Pa­cific North­west un­til re­cently, when small towns in the Mid­west be­gan notic­ing bizarre break-ins at air­ports and other lo­ca­tions that au­thor­i­ties con­nected to Har­ris-Moore, who has never had for­mal fly­ing lessons.

A sin­gle-en­gine Cessna air­plane was stolen over the week­end in Bloom­ing­ton, Ind., and then crashed in shal­low wa­ters off Abaco more than 1,000 miles away.

Colton Har­ris-Moore stole plane, flew to is­land, of­fi­cials say.

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