Has 'Barefoot Bandit' hit the tropics?

Has 'Barefoot Bandit' hit the tropics?
Colton Harris-Moore is seen in a July 2008 photo recovered from a stolen digital camera memory card.
Maybe the midwest just wasn't warm enough.

A small plane stolen from Bloomington, Indiana over the weekend was found crashed off the coast of the Bahamas, and officials believe it may be the work of Colton Harris-Moore.

Sheriff's deputies said the Cessna 400 was taken from a hangar at the Monroe County Airport late Saturday or early Sunday, and car stolen from Illinois was found near the airport.

A spokeswoman for U.S. Coast Guard District 7 said the aircraft was found crashed in shallow water off the coast of the Bahamas on Sunday. It was not clear if there were any survivors.

In an interview with the Herald-Times, Monroe County Airport manager Bruce Payton said Harris-Moore is suspected of stealing the plane.

Payton would not confirm a suspected connection to Harris-Moore when contacted by KOMO News, but in an interview with WRTV Payton said the incident "seemed to fit the pattern" of Harris-Moore's crimes.

Herald-Times reporter Michael Malik said local law enforcement officials told him that no hard evidence was found linking Harris-Moore to the stolen car or plane, but that the crime was very similar Harris-Moore's past crimes.

"It's unclear how the person who stole the plane was able to get into the airport," Malik said. "It is guarded by a 10-foot-high fence that's ringed with barbed wire, and the gates are all locked. In the hangar where the plane was kept the door had been pried open."

Harris-Moore has been a thorn in the side of law enforcement officials in Western Washington for years.

In recent weeks, however, the teen known as the "Barefoot Bandit" seems to be spending a lot of time in other areas of the country.

Last week, officials in South Dakota said fingerprints at the scene of a June 18 burglary were a match for Harris-Moore.

And investigators in Madison County, Nebraska issued an arrest warrant for Harris-Moore, who is suspected of several recent break-ins, car thefts, and attempted airplane thefts there.

Authorities believe the 19-year-old is responsible for stealing property worth a total of up to $1.5 million, and has been on the run since he escaped from a Renton group home in April 2008.

He is accused of breaking into dozens of homes since and committing burglaries across Washington, as well as in British Columbia and Idaho.

The teen has garnered considerable media attention and got his nickname after allegedly committing some break-ins without wearing shoes.

Police say they nearly caught Harris-Moore during an intense manhunt on Orcas Island on March 18, but he managed to slip away.

He apparently began his trek out of the Northwest earlier in the spring, donating $100 to a Raymond animal hospital and allegedly stealing a $450,000 yacht from Illwaco, Wash. to get across the Columbia River.

The yacht was recovered in Warrenton, Oregon, where police said fingerprints were used to positively identify the thief as Harris-Moore.

Harris-Moore's mother has long supported her son's criminal escapades and has said she hopes he goes to a country that won't extradite him.

She reiterated the advice two weeks ago in an interview with the Everett Herald.

"He ought to steal a plane and get the hell out of the States," she told the paper.