‘Barefoot Bandit’ Colton Harris-Moore near prison release, lawyer says

Posted at 7:52 AM, Aug 05, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-05 09:52:03-04

(CNN) — The man known as the “Barefoot Bandit, who gained a large Facebook following and snagged a movie deal after a fugitive crime spree across nine states and three countries, is about to be released from state prison, his attorney said Wednesday.

Colton Harris-Moore became infamous when he spent two years robbing homes and stealing boats, cars and planes, often while wearing no shoes.

He was captured in 2010 after crashing a stolen plane in the Bahamas and then trying to escape in a stolen boat.

Seattle attorney John Henry Browne said he doesn’t have the exact date his client will be released from the Stafford Creek Corrections Center in Washington state, but told CNN he will give Harris-Moore a clerical job at his law firm.

Browne told the Seattle Times that Harris-Moore will work part-time and live at a halfway house.

Concurrent prison sentences

In January 2012, a federal judge sentenced Harris-Moore — who was 20 years old at the time — to 6½ years in prison for his string of thefts and burglaries.

Harris-Moore pleaded guilty as part of a plea deal to federal charges of stealing an airplane, piloting it without a license, burglarizing a bank and possessing a firearm as a fugitive. He was also convicted of 33 charges brought by the state of Washington. His seven-year state sentence ran concurrently with his federal sentence.

In 2011, Harris-Moore sold the movie rights to his life story to 20th Century Fox. As part of his plea deal, Harris-Moore agreed to give up any profits that might come from book or movie deals on his story.

Browne said then that his client wanted any such money to go to the victims of his crimes.

Started young

As a thief, Harris-Moore started out young and with small jobs — shoplifting and breaking into homes, police said after his arrest.

He earned his nickname by living in the woods after he escaped from a group home in 2008 and leaving bare footprints at some of his crime scenes.

For much of his crime spree, the then-teenager stuck close to his home of Camano Island, Washington.

He might have remained an obscure juvenile criminal, but he gained national fame after he took to the skies, stealing and crash-landing airplanes despite never having any formal flight training.

He also was suspected of crimes in Canada, the Bahamas, Oregon, Idaho, South Dakota, Indiana and other states.

At one point a Facebook fan page had more than 80,000 followers. Fans embraced Harris-Moore’s exploits, drawing comparisons to those of Frank Abagnale Jr., the con artist played by Leonardo DiCaprio in “Catch Me If You Can.”