Serial teen burglar may be back

Serial teen burglar may be back »Play Video
Colton Harris-Moore
CAMANO ISLAND, Wash. -- A teenager suspected in a string of residential burglaries may be back in the area and breaking into homes again.

Island County Sheriff Mark Brown said Colton Harris-Moore, 17, is believed to have jumped from a moving vehicle after a deputy tried to stop the driver for speeding and driving erratically Thursday night on South Camano Drive.

"The officer picked a lit area, hoping that he (the driver) would pull over to the right. Instead of pulling to the right, he went to the left and into the southwest corner of the Elger Bay Grocery," said Brown.

The driver got away, but deputies recovered several items that had recently been stolen from area homes. The vehicle, which crashed after the driver bailed out, was also stolen.

Laurie Flickner, owner of Elger Bay Grocery Store, said she knew Moore-Harris was back when police informed her a stolen car had crashed into the southwest corner of her store.

"You just kind of have an inkling that it is," she said.

A dumpster stopped the car from doing any major damage to the store, but Flickner knows things could have been much worse.

"You wish he would make some smarter choices. And I would rather they get a hold of him before something does happen," she said.

After the driver fled, officers began an island-wide search for Harris-Moore. Tactical teams from Marysville expanded the search on Friday with the help of canine units. They combed wooded areas and roads that are familiar to Moore-Harris, but did not find him.

"Just to do it over, and over and over again is a repeated slap in the face of the whole island," said Josh Flickner of Elger Bay Grocery Store.

In early 2007, deputies spent weeks searching for the then 15-year-old Harris-Moore, who was charged with multiple counts of burglary and identity theft.

Investigators said the teen broke into homes to steal valuables and to use the homeowners' computers to place fraudulent orders on line.

In one burglary, Harris-Moore allegedly slept in their bed of the vacationing homeowners, ate in their kitchen, took showers and even zipped around town in their black Mercedes. The couple said he also used their credit cards to buy things on line and have them delivered to the house.

A tip led deputies to the teen's hideout and he surrendered after his mother helped with negotiations.

Harris-Moore was ordered to live at a group home in Renton, but he escaped in April of this year.

Now, in the wake of Thursday's incident, investigators fear he may be back to his criminal ways on Camano Island and asked anyone with information to call the sheriff's office.

Previous coverage:

Prosecutors seek charges for teen burglary suspect

Deputies arrest teen accused of string of home burglaries

Teen sought in string of residential burglaries