Colton Harris-Moore 'essentially hiding in plain sight'

Colton Harris-Moore 'essentially hiding in plain sight' »Play Video
SEATTLE -- Colton Harris-Moore has something legendary bandits Jesse James and D.B. Cooper didn't have: 20,000 Facebook fans and counting.

And now he has a four-page article in Maxim magazine based on the story his mother told.

At 6-foot-5, he is a gangly giant with a goofy grin and a getaway plan that puts Huck Finn to shame.

Mark Ebner, a writer for Maxim magazine, considers the Island County criminal a legend.

"As he tells his mother, he disguises himself and he's essentially hiding in plain sight," he said. "I walked into his bedroom and there were airplanes staged all over the room, cockpit posters looking out onto air fields."

Now known as the "Barefoot Bandit," Harris-Moore was once the boy who loved to fly.

"This kid since he was yay-high was fascinated with planes. He's wanted to fly," said Ebner.

Ebner visited the single-wide trailer tucked in the woods on Camano Island where 18-year-old Harris Moore grew up. The teen's mother says he sends cards, including the one that read, "Cops wanna play- hu! Well, it's no lil' game. It's war! & tell them that."

"Its amazing to everyone how he's managed to do this," Ebner said.

Since he escaped from a halfway house two years ago, Island County investigators suspect Harris-Moore managed to steal four small planes and crash-land them, sometimes hundreds of miles from where he took off.

"On today's Internet, he was able to download a flight manual for these single-engine high-wing Cessna planes, and he learned how to fly them," said Ebner.

Police suspect Harris-Moore has also stolen boats and luxury cars, and broken into dozens of homes and businesses, including several on Orcas Island. His total haul may top $1.5 million, officials said.

Earlier this month, police believed they had Harris-Moore isolated on Orcas Island. But the teen managed to slip away some time during the intense manhunt that lasted nearly 14 hours.

A muddy footprint was found outside a chicken coop on the island last weekend. Investigators believe it belongs to the kid wanted for dozens, if not almost a hundred burglaries.

"He was essentially institutionalized since he was 12 years old," Ebner said. "Had he been given the educational opportunities, who knows what heights he would have risen to given his genius?"

The teen's mother said judging from her last conversation with her son, she gets the feeling he's going down, Ebner said.

He told her he had something big planned, and advised her to close the gate to her property, because paparazzi are likely to come knocking. The teen told his mother not to worry.