Authorities hunting for Harris-Moore in Bahamas

Authorities hunting for Harris-Moore in Bahamas »Play Video
Colton Harris-Moore
SEATTLE -- The FBI said Tuesday there is a "solid indication" that Colton Harris-Moore is responsible for stealing a plane in Indiana over the weekend and crashing it off the coast of the Bahamas.

Special Agent Steven Dean with the bureau's Seattle office said the FBI is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the teen known as the "Barefoot Bandit."

"Colton Harris-Moore has gone from a regional nuisance to an international problem," Dean said. "We need to step up our efforts to get him."

The teen is wanted for a string of boat, vehicle and plane thefts and a possible bank robbery.

In the latest incident, a Cessna 400 Corvalis aircraft was taken from a hangar at the airport in Bloomington, Indiana late Saturday or early Sunday.

Dean said the airplane was found crashed in about three feet of water near Sandy Point Airstrip off the coast of Abaco Island in the Bahamas on Sunday, and no one was found at the wreckage when authorities arrived.

A "hefty force" of law enforcement officials in the Bahamas are now looking for Harris-Moore, Dean said. "It's important that we catch him."

Dean initially said surveillance video recorded the theft at the Monroe County Airport, but he later said that statement was erroneous.

Speaking by phone from Nassau, Assistant Police Commissioner Glenn Miller said authorities on Abaco Island were already investigating a vehicle theft and break-in at a home near where the plane crashed.

It could not be confirmed if Harris-Moore was responsible for those crimes, Miller said.

Authorities believe the 19-year-old is responsible for stealing millions of dollars worth of property, and the teen 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.

He has also been named as a suspect in thefts in South Dakota, Illinois and Nebraska.

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.


Watch the interview with FBI Special Agent Steven Dean.