Cameras captured a man moving about near the sport fishing boat at a small private marina on the island just minutes before the boat was taken on May 15. The boat was found by the U.S. Coast Guard, abandoned and floating off Camano Island.
The Lopez Island boat theft is just one in a string of robberies in which Colton Harris-Moore is suspected. Investigators also suspect the infamous teen in the theft of a boat from a burgled home in the San Juan Island. The boat was later found abandoned along the shore of Lopez Island.
Detectives in Kitsap County are also looking into whether Harris-Moore had a hand in the theft of a boat from the south end of Whidbey Island last weekend.The 2002 Maxum Power Boat washed ashore in Eglon on Monday.
In 2007, Harris-Moore was arrested in connection with several burglaries on Camano Island and later sentenced to three years behind bars. He escaped from group home for juvenile offenders in Renton in April 2008.
Since then, he has been a thorn in the side of police in several jurisdictions, taunting investigators with his brazen crimes. Each time police have gotten close, Harris-Moore has managed to disappear into the woods without a trace.
He has garnered considerable media attention and was nicknamed the "Barefoot Bandit" after allegedly committing some break-ins without wearing shoes.
Harris-Moore has been sought in scores of break-ins around Western Washington and is suspected of stealing four small planes and crashing each one. Police suspect he's also stolen boats and luxury cars, and broken into dozens of homes and businesses as far away as Idaho and Canada.
Police said they nearly caught Harris-Moore during an intense manhunt on Orcas Island on March 18, but he managed to slip away. Since then, he has been quiet, until earlier this month.
"He's definitely a survivalist," said Karen Ironwing, whose son was caught in a car allegedly stolen by Harris-Moore. Harley Ironwing, 21, was just released from jail.
"It's a game now. I think it's, 'Now let me see how far ahead of them I can keep,'" said the mother, who believes Harris-Moore is a smart, resourceful young man whose talents are being wasted.
Ironwing fears her own son, himself a wanderer, could now be trying to track down his friend. She fears he may even be visiting their old stomping grounds where they once camped out in the woods and together triggered mischief.
"I think he might be...I mean, it makes me a little nervous, but I'm thinking that's where his brain is right now," she said. "He wants to protect Colton, so Colton doesn't get shot. That's Harley's thing. He's always been that way."
Harris-Moore's exploits have captured the attention of many national media outlets, and a Facebook fan page for the teen burglar has attracted thousands of fans. A movie deal reportedly is in the works, and Harris-Moore was profiled in the January issue of Outside magazine.