Thieves are detested worldwide. They are frowned upon, and not many people feel sad when one is imprisoned or dies. However, Colton Harris Moore, a burglar, carjacker, and aircraft thief, somehow managed to get most of the general public’s sympathy. People printed t-shirts with his face, and he gained a massive social media following. His was a fairytale that amazed everyone who knew or heard of him. Continue reading to find out more fascinating Colton Harris Moore facts.
1. He was Nicknamed “The Barefoot Bandit”
Residents of Camano Island swore Colton Harris Moore committed most of his burglaries, car theft, and other misdemeanors while barefoot. He soon gained popularity and was nicknamed “the barefoot bandit.”
2. He Had a Troubled Childhood
Born on March 22, 1991, Colton Harris Moore grew up under his mother’s care on Camano Island, a part of Island County in Washington. His father was a drug addict and was imprisoned when he was a toddler. As such, Colton Moore’s neighbors suspected he was abused and neglected, given his mother, Pamela Kohler, was also a drunkard who broke his possessions.
3. Colton Harris Moore Lived in the Forest
When he was seven, Colton Harris Moore left home and lived in the woods, where he “thrived.” He would break into vacation homes to steal food, water, and blankets before returning to the forest. Authorities say he was so good that, as long as he was in the woods, it was impossible to catch him.
4. He Learned How to Steal Identities
When Colton Harris Moore realized some of the houses he broke into had computers, he used them to learn how to steal identities. Before long, he could order credit cards using the homeowner’s details, which he used to buy food and survival gear.
5. Colton Harris Moore Once Bought Sophisticated Night-Vision Goggles
Colton Harris Moore upgraded to night-vision googles with infrared capabilities to aid his adventures. He didn’t have to try doors, hoping the homeowners weren’t around; he would use his newly acquired sophisticated gears to scan and tell which premises to raid.
6. He Faced More than 23 Criminal Charges at 16
Colton Harris Moore was captured and arrested on February 9, 2007. At only 16 years, he had committed more than 23 criminal offenses, most of which entailed residential burglaries. After agreeing on a deal with the prosecutors and pleading guilty to some charges, he was sentenced to three years at Green Hill School, a high-security juvenile detention facility in Chehalis.
7. Colton Harris Moore Grew A Huge Fanbase
While he was a menace to the police and those he stole from, Colton Harris Moore quickly grew a legion of fans that rooted for him. They were amazed by how he could effortlessly break out of a detention house, steal cars, show the middle finger to the police, and disappear into the woods.
8. He Briefly Relocated to Orcas Island
To escape the legal heat in Camano Island, Colton Harris Moore stole a boat and relocated to Orcas Island, Washington, in August 2008. Here, he still needed to survive, so he resumed his burglary adventures. Within a short period, there were so many reported cases of sophisticated break-ins that the Orcas Island Chamber of Commerce held a special meeting to address the issue.
9. Colton Harris Moore Learned How to Fly An Aircraft By Reading Manuals
Colton Harris Moore developed a passion for flying aircraft from a young age. He would spend countless hours playing the Microsoft Flight Simulator game on computers. After Moore grew into the burglary business, he advanced his piloting knowledge by reading manuals and watching instructional DVDs. Interestingly, he purchased these materials online using stolen credit cards.
10. He Stole and Flew Several Aircrafts
While in Orcas Island, Colton Harris Moore stole a Cessna 182 from a hangar and flew 300 miles east before crash landing on the Yakama Indian Reservation. It turned out the stolen aircraft belonged to KZOK-FM radio station host Bob Rivers. He wasn’t amused that the general public had subscribed to the “folk-hero stuff” of someone flying an aircraft without formal training. Moore stole three other airplanes on Camano Island.
11. He Drew the Attention of the FBI and Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
By 2010, Colton Harris Moore had grown confident and embraced his “barefoot bandit” tag. From stealing aircraft to hijacking vehicles and stealing $1000 from a grocery store, he committed over 100 thefts throughout Canada, Washington, and Idaho.
He even left chalk-drawn cartoonish feet snaking up and down the aisles of a grocery store he once stole from, ending it with a taunting message: “C-Ya.” With all the media frenzy and the cheerleading public, the police were left with an egg on their faces, prompting the intervention of the FBI and DHS.
12. Colton Harris Moore Was Caught in The Bahamas
With the intervention of the Special Forces and a $10,000 bounty placed on his head, Colton Harris Moore ran out of ideas and room to hide. His last move was to relocate to Harbor Island in the Bahamas, where he was caught on July 11, 2010. He was sentenced to seven years in prison but was released in July 2016.
13. He Reformed
After his release, Colton Harris Moore saw the light and sought to change his ways. He took a job at his defense attorney’s Seattle Law Firm and hasn’t hit the headlines since. It is also said his efforts to raise money through social media to fund aviation school training was vetoed by his parole officer. All the money collected, about $129,000, was channeled towards compensating his victims.
14. Colton Harris Moore Inspired Several Books and Documentaries
The adventures of Colton Harris Moore inspired several books and documentaries, including Bob Friels’ “The Barefoot Bandit: The True Tale of Colton Harris-Moore, New American Outlaw” and The Barefoot Bandit Documentary.
15. He Was a Daredevil
Besides his audacity to steal aircraft from hangars and carjacking, Colton Harris Moore was courageous enough to raid police-manned areas. At one point, the authorities took his dog and placed it in a dog pound, hoping Moore would come for it so they could catch him. True to their thoughts, the daredevil broke into the facility and left with his dog.