Radio host: I think teen thief crashed my plane

Radio host: I think teen thief crashed my plane
SEATTLE -- A Seattle radio host says he believes the theft and crash landing of his airplane last fall was the work of Colton Harris-Moore.

"The thief broke into a locked hangar, apparently found some keys in the hangar, stole the plane during our morning show," Bob Rivers said Thursday morning on his radio show on KZOK-FM.

"All indications are that Colton Harris-Moore is the prime suspect," he said.

Rivers' single-engine Cessna was stolen from San Juan County and crashed November 12 on Yakama Nation tribal land.

When emergency crews arrived, the pilot was no where to be found.

Rivers told investigators he thought the plane was still in its hangar when they called to find out why it was on the reservation.

The radio host said he started taking lessons in 2002 to overcome his fear of flying. Rivers said he became an instrument-rated pilot and bought an airplane.

"I was furious that something like this could happen," he said. "It's a burglar with a James Bond complex, and they need to catch him."

Investigators could not immediately be reached for comment.

Harris-Moore, 18, is suspected in about 50 burglary cases since he slipped away from a halfway house in April 2008, and authorities suspect him in several other airplane thefts.

His mother said she doesn't see anything wrong with what her son is accused of doing.

"I hope to hell he stole those airplanes - I would be so proud," Pam Kohler said in an interview on Tuesday.

Over the weekend, someone took blankets, shoes and food from a home near the site where a stolen Cessna crash-landed in Granite Falls on an apparent path toward Harris-Moore's hometown on Camano Island. SWAT teams were called out after a shot was fired from the woods, but whoever was responsible got away.

Police believe Harris-Moore also recently took thousands of dollars from safes and ATMs at businesses in the Orcas Island hamlet of Eastsound.

The teen has exploited the fact that the police do not have the manpower to mount an all-out hunt in a property crime case. Sheriff's offices on some of the islands do not even have tracking dogs.

Frustrated residents wonder how hard it is to find a 6-foot-5, 200-pound teenager in the confines of an island, while red-faced cops bristle at what they see as attempts to romanticize the fugitive.

A Harris-Moore fan club has emerged on Facebook, and a Seattle man, started selling T-shirts bearing Harris-Moore's picture and the words "Momma Tried."

The teen escaped from a Renton juvenile security facility in April 2008 and has been on the lam ever since, suspected in a string of break-ins and thefts.

Investigators believe Harris-Moore is responsible for 13 recent burglaries in San Juan County, including the theft of two boats.

Rivers said his Cessna was totaled in the crash.