Whidbey Island boat theft work of Harris-Moore?

Whidbey Island boat theft work of Harris-Moore?
KINGSTON, Wash. -- Investigators here are looking into a boat theft that may be the work of "the Barefoot Bandit."

Kitsap County sheriff's spokesman Scott Wilson said detectives received reports Monday morning of a 2002 Maxum Power Boat that had washed ashore in Eglon. The vessel had been ransacked and its ignition had been torn up, Wilson said.

Deputies contacted the owner of the 27-foot vessel in Clinton, who wasn't aware his boat was missing.

"He went down to the dock and the recontacted the sheriff's office and said, 'Yes, I can confirm my boat is no longer where it's supposed to be. There is a row boat in its place,'" Wilson said.

It is not known exactly when the boat was taken, but the owner said he'd last seen it last Thursday or Friday.

Wilson said there's no indication at this point that this is, in fact, the work of Colton Harris-Moore, the infamous teen suspected of stealing more than $1.5 million worth in boats, planes and valuables taken from homes.

However, Wilson said the FBI has requested a report on the incident for further review.

"I would say it's an open-ended answer," said Wilson. "We did not find any evidence on the boat that might indicate who the perpetrator might be."

Harris-Moore is also suspected in the thefts of two boats that were taken from the San Juan Islands earlier this month. A sport fishing boat was taken from a small private marina on Lopez Island, and found abandoned on Camano Island. Another boat was taken from a San Juan Island home, then found abandoned along the shore of Lopez Island.

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 a 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.

His 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.