Deputies arrest teen accused of string of home burglaries

Deputies arrest teen accused of string of home burglaries »Play Video
Island County Sheriff's deputies have arrested Colton Harris-Moore, the 15-year-old suspected of a string of home burglaries around Camano Island.

Deputies received a tip on Friday night from a resident who noticed the lights on inside his neighbors' home, who were out of town. Deputies surrounded the south Camano Island house and tried to negotiate with Harris-Moore, who was hiding inside.

Island County Sheriff Mark Brown said the teen's mother helped with negotiations.

"We actually started a conversation with Mr. Moore. Mr. Moore's mother showed up. We allowed her to call him on the phone and ask him to come out, and eventually he did," he said.

Harris-Moore surrendered and deputies arrested him around 9:28 p.m. He is now being held at the Juvenile Detention Center in Coupeville.

Harris-Moore was wanted on felony arrest warrants for theft and possession of stolen property.

Detective Ed Wallace said the teen has been breaking into homes to steal valuables and to use the homeowners' computers to place fraudulent orders on line.

Wallace said the teen has been living in campsites in the woods and has broken into vacant houses and summer homes to seek shelter.

When John Bisset and his wife returned from a three week vacation, they found that someone had been living in their Camano Island house.

"You're nervous, you're scared, you don't know what to do," he said.

Bisset said the teen slept in their bed, ate in their kitchen, took showers and even zipped around town in their black Mercedes. The couple said he also used their credit cards buy things on line and have them delivered to the house.

Island County Sheriff Mark Brown said that's the boy's game. He said Harris-Moore is copying credit card information when he breaks into homes and using the information to purchase items on line, which he has shipped to vacant homes.

"He's been somewhat resourceful in a sense that he uses people's computers and credit card information," said Brown.

A week after John and his wife returned home, they caught Harris-Moore trying to break in again.

"He must have known we were sleeping in the house," said Bisset, "you talk about weird, strange, awful and scary."

Investigators said the teen has been a fugitive for almost a year. Because he's from the area, he knows the back woods well. Harris-Moore is accused of a rash burglaries, vandalism, and identity theft.

While the teen has not threatened or harmed anyone during the alleged burglaries, investigators believe the teen may have carried a gun.

Brown said detectives believe someone else may have helped Harris-Moore, and that any accomplices could also face criminal charges.