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Seven Years for 'Barefoot Bandit'

Twenty-five years after the record flight

Harris-Moore
Courtesy: NY Daily News

December 22, 2011 – Colton Harris-Moore, known as the “Barefoot Bandit” for drawing footprints and messages at the location of numerous thefts he committed, was sentenced to seven years in prison last week in Washington State, where most of his crimes occurred. The 20-year-old Harris-Moore, who also stole several light aircraft, pleaded guilty to 33 charges resulting from a multi-year burglary spree that began when he was 16. His upbringing by a negligent mother was a factor in his sentence, but one thing he always liked was airplanes.

Harris-Moore’s fascination with flight led the self-taught aviator to steal several aircraft during his time on the run. Clues at each subsequent crash scene suggested that his flying skill was improving with each aircraft theft. While most of his crimes occurred in the Pacific Northwest, in 2010 he moved eastward, eventually crashing a stolen Cessna Corvalis 400 TT in the Bahamas. He was eventually captured after a high-speed boat chase.

Harris-Moore, who is facing seven federal charges next month, agreed to pay for many of the stolen items including the planes through the proceeds from a $1.2 million movie deal. While seen as a folk hero in some social media circles, property owners and proprietors who were victimized by Harris-Moore’s crimes were much less sympathetic.

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