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Teen Fugitive's Adventure In The Bahamas And How It Eventually Ended

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We're getting our first look at the stolen plane Colton Harris-Moore used to fly to the Bahamas.

You can see part of the landing gear ripped off as the so-called "Barefoot Bandit" crash-landed the plane after stealing it from Indiana.

Harris-Moore made his first court appearance Wednesday in Miami since being extradited from the Bahamas.

He appeared briefly in federal court. A judge set another hearing Friday to give Harris-Moore time to hire a lawyer.

In Washington state, his mother, Pam Kohler, has asked Seattle defense attorney John Henry Browne to represent her son in a criminal case.

Another attorney, O. Yale Lewis, is helping Kohler with media and entertainment requests.

In court, Harris-Moore answered the judge's question about whether he had a lawyer saying, "I spoke with my mom and she said she had one (an attorney.")

In the court hearing, he also revealed he had spoken to his mother a week before he was arrested in the Bahamas.

He is charged with multiple crimes including a string of break-ins and plane thefts across the United States. He started his crime spree in Washington.

Harris-Moore was in a Bahamian court Tuesday and sentenced to three months in prison or a $300 fine. He was led away a short time later and by the afternoon was on a plane to the United States.

Witnesses say the teen was led away in a motorcade following sentencing Tuesday morning. He kept his head down and refused to answer questions. Harris-Moore wore a bullet proof vest. In court, he stood straight and spoke in a confident voice. He looked tan, thin and healthy. Witnesses in the courtroom say they could not see a scratch or bruise on his body, adding that they didn't even see a bug bite. The teen wore new white running shoes without laces.

Harris-Moore's two year run from the law came to an end Sunday in the islands of the Bahamas. Police got the break they needed around 2 a.m. Sunday morning after a resident called in a tip.

They tracked Harris-Moore to the small island of Eleuthera, 40 miles south of where he was suspected of crash landing a plane stolen from Indiana.

Police say Harris-Moore tried to run, even leading them on a high speed boat chase in a stolen dingy.

But at one point, the boat ran aground, and police shot out the engine of the boat to get him to stop.

Police say Harris-Moore had a gun on him, and threw it in the water during the arrest.

It's also being reported that moments earlier, Harris-Moore held the gun to his head and threatened to kill himself, but was talked out of it by police. Investigators say he did not shoot at police.

On Monday, Police Commission Elleson Greenslade talked about how Harris-Moore was doing. He said, "Colton is still in our protective custody. He is doing well this morning as he's been doing since his arrest. We're going to move him to court as soon as we can"

Greenslade told reporters the 19-year old is facing burglary,theft, ammunition and gun possession charges. Guns are illegal in the Bahamas.

"He's an intelligent young man who understands his rights. He's been allowed due process. He now has legal representation and we here in the Bahamas are doing everything by the letter of the law."

Greenslade described the teen bandit as an 'intelligent man' and also used the word 'eloquent.'

Shortly after his arrest, the teen was then flown to Nassau, the capital of the Bahamas, and in classic style, departed the plane wearing no shoes.

In a new conference in Everett Sunday night, FBI assistant special agent Steve Dean said he wasn't surprised Harris-Moore got caught.

"I think if you go to a small island and you stick out like a sore thumb, like I understood he did, you get caught," said Dean, "and I think it's important that we bring closure to the crimes we have a responsibility to investigate."

Dean also called out fans of the infamous teen bandit saying, "if you're making a hero out of an alleged thief, then you're not saying too many apologies to the victims who've lost all that property."

The news spread in the small community of Camano Island. Joshua Flickner owns a small store where Colton used to come in with his mother. Flickner described Harris-Moore as 'another neighborhood kid.' Flickner hopes to see justice play out for the teen, "I like to see Colton spend some serious time in jail for his crimes."

Colton Harris-Moore's Facebook fan page grew by the thousands on Sunday as news of his capture leaked out.

A women named Tag wrote, "I live on Camano Island, and we used to see his campsites while hiking around. Glad he's going to get whats coming to him. The story is over, prison awaits this thief. Now you can all find another loser to glorify."

As for how Colton Harris-Moore must have felt Sunday night, the man who volunteered to help police catch him, says Harris-Moore is probably tired and resting.

"He was moving at night, sleeping during the day, probably not getting very good sleep at all so he had to be exhausted, "said Mike Rocha with All-City Bail Bonds, "Right now, tonight, he'll probably sleep the best he has in three years."

The capture by police in the Bahamas started on Great Abaco island late July 4th after a plane crashed on the island.

Within 48 hours, Harris-Moore was suspected in a string of burglaries on two islands.

There have been few sightings, but, ferry boat captain Freddie Grant said he saw the teen as he was returning from Harbour Island in northern Eleuthera on Wednesday evening.

He told officials he saw a tall, white teenager bathing or swimming in an inlet near the ferry landing.

Ferry service employee Stan Pennerman also said he saw Harris-Moore lurking in the woods the same day.

Neither man thought much of it until they noticed the next morning, that somebody had damaged the ignition system on three of their boats.

"A bar at the ferry landing was also burglarized Wednesday night by a thief who cut a screen to break in, dismantled a security light, and moved the television's remote controls," said Denaldo Bain, the 30-year-old manager of Coakley's International Sporting Lounge.

"He was watching television. He was just chilling," said Bain, who also said he saw the teenager in the inlet.

Bahamian Police have been looking for Harris-Moore after a plane stolen from an airport near Indianapolis was found in the islands. Officials believe he was the pilot.

Sources on the ground in the Bahamas say that a Cessna 400 made a controlled crash at the southern tip of the Abacos Islands.

The pilot then reportedly waded to shore, stole a car and traveled north to the vacation town of Marsh Harbor.

Police say someone broke into a FedEx office and a restaurant and there's apparently video showing someone who looks like Harris-Moore with a shaved-head breaking into that restaurant.

Bahamian Police are also investigating a break-in at a vacation home on the tourist island.

Glenn Miller, the Assistant Commissioner from the Royal Bahamas Police Force, says they were also investigating a stolen car which was eventually found.

"We know that a vehicle was stolen, and I've sent a team of detectives down there to investigate this matter," said Miller, "and we know that the home was actually broken into, and the owners of the house don't live on the island, they live in another country."

They have not yet named Colton Harris-Moore as the culprit of these crimes but some charges are likely.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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