Police: Notorious teen burglar using boats, planes

Police: Notorious teen burglar using boats, planes »Play Video
Colton Harris-Moore is seen in a July 2008 photo recovered from a stolen digital camera memory card.
ORCAS ISLAND, Wash. -- When Heather Johnson opened her cafe on Orcas Island one recent morning, she couldn't believe what she saw.

"The ATM standing open, saw the cash register standing open, went around, saw the back door standing open," she said.

A burglar had stripped her cash machine of $2,500.

Across the street at another business, investigators believe surveillance cameras caught the same burglar, who can be seen shutting off lights inside while looking for cameras.

He ran out empty-handed when he thought he tripped the alarm.

The sheriff said the burglar is Colton Harris-Moore, an 18 year old who went on a burglary spree for two years on Camano Island.

He's blamed for 40 burglaries there, and investigators say he's getting more bold.

"We have two stolen boats and we have possibly two stolen planes that we would attribute to this young man," San Juan County Sheriff Bill Cumming said.

Harris-Moore apparently has a basic knowledge of how to fly a plane, but investigators say in both thefts he damaged the planes in hard landings.

An Orcas shuttle driver say it explains Harris-Moore's island hopping.

"Trying to get off the island is the real trick if you don't want to be seen, so taking a boat or taking a plane, that would be the way to do it," Ed Masters said.

Investigators believe Harris-Moore is responsible for 13 burglaries in San Juan County. A deputy spotted the teen last week, but he got away and started mocking them.

"Once he was into the woods, he was taunting and laughing," Cumming said.

And Harris-Moore has made a career of getting away. In 2007 he escaped from a group home. Now, detectives say he is living in the woods and stealing cash, tools and food.

"He's obviously a very bright young man and enjoys the thrill of what he's doing," Cumming said.