He’s living that life that every child contemplated after reading The Boxcar Children. He’s on the run, eluding police at every turn, always one step ahead, and living his life free of societal norms. He’s so far out there that he’s received extreme responses from everybody. Some cheer him on with all their might. Go, Colton, go! And others calling him foolish, saying he’s living in fantasy land. Maybe he is. Maybe he’s walking around, pretending to be James Bond and living the life of a spy. We don’t know. I, however, think he’s just fulfilling his dream to be an outlaw. He’s more of a role model than anything, showing you that if you think it’s crazy, you think it’s a bad idea, you won’t find out until you try. This boy wanted to be alone, he didn’t want to be in our establishment. Why should we hate him for doing so? I mean, aside from the burglaries. He’s just a more violent version of a hobo. And at nineteen years old, he’s been able to evade police for longer than most experienced criminals.
He doesn’t show up for press conferences, he doesn’t openly publicize his arrival in an area, he just gets what he needs, kicks up his infamous bare feet, and then moves on when the time is called for. Following his continuously moving behavior, it would seem that he doesn’t really want to settle down. It seems he’s completely cool with never having his own house. He doesn’t mind always running. Although I’m sure he could go for one night of sleep when he doesn’t think someone’s just around the corner waiting for him.
Harris-Moore adopted the life-on-the-run attitude when he was much younger. According to [potentially unreliable] sources, as a baby, he was abused by his father and his stepfather passed away when he was seven years old. His mother didn’t seem to be much help and was constantly under investigation for child abuse herself. The mother states that Harris-Moore had “sort of a disconnection” early in the first grade and by about the age of seven, he was living in the wild. Beginning his life as a thief started immediately after, as he would break into neighbors’ houses to steal blankets and food and disappear in the woods for days. After he’d done it once, he felt much more confident and burglarized many homes. He hurt himself a little though in giving himself that reputation. According to his mother, “Every time he had anything any good, everyone thought he stole it. What does that do to a kid?” As far as defense goes, I give her a two.
He has stolen planes. He’s stolen cars. He’s stolen boats. And He’s going to continue until he is physically stopped. Somehow Harris-Moore has eluded arrest for a couple years now but who knows how long he can make it. Whether he does or not, there’s plenty of Facebookers waiting on pins and needles for every word of his progress. We all know our Facebook is Courtney Love’s crack. We can’t do without it. And Colton has involuntarily become one of the more influential outlaws in the United States because of this cyber narcotic. While I don’t support crime and I don’t like that he breaks into houses, I can’t help but cheer for him. He’s done something that every teenager has wanted to do at some point in their life. And he’s succeeded. He is the real outlaw of our generation. We have our own outlaw! How cool is that?
As the “Barefoot Bandit” continues to traverse the world, I will sit here in my air conditioned building, in front of my nice laptop, where, should the government need to find me, they’d be able to. I wish you luck Colton Harris-Moore. And while you’re in the Bahamas, bring me back a t-shirt? If not, that’s alright. A postcard will do just fine. Ooh! And draw little feet on it. That’d be cute.
UPDATE! –> Thursday, July 8, 2010: Harris-Moore was caught on surveillance camera in the Bahamas while burglarizing a convenience store. He’s been easily spooked twice now and left two different stores without getting everything he wanted. Don’t get caught, Barefoot Bandit. It’d ruin everyone’s fun.
For those of you who don’t know about Colton Harris-Moore (a.k.a. “Barefoot Bandit”), here are several links on him keeping tabs since he walked out of a halfway house in April 2008 and dropped out of sight:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colton_Harris-Moore – What we Know
Map of Barefoot Bandit’s Criminal Path (not all reports have been confirmed by police)
http://www.guardian.co.uk/global/2009/dec/15/colton-harris-moore-barefoot-bandit – On the Trail of the Bandit (2009)
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/article6946030.ece – Barefoot Bandit Outfoxes Sheriffs (2009)
http://www.heraldnet.com/article/20091009/NEWS01/710099900 – Barefoot Bandit a National Celebrity (2010)
http://www.kirotv.com/news/23939095/detail.html – Barefoot Bandit makes a donation to the Animal Shelter (2010)
http://www.komonews.com/news/local/97813839.html – Has Barefoot Bandit hit the Tropics?
http://www.cnn.com/2010/CRIME/07/06/barefoot.bandit.plane.theft/index.html?video=true&hpt=T2 – Barefoot Bandit faces Indictment
http://mashable.com/2009/10/08/colton-harris-moore-facebook/ – Colton’s Cult on Facebook