'Barefoot Bandit' pleads guilty in Washington state

Story highlights

  • Colton Harris-Moore pleads guilty to 33 state charges
  • The 20-year-old pleaded guilty to federal charges this year
  • He eluded capture for 2 years in stolen planes and cars, often while barefoot
Colton Harris-Moore, whom authorities dubbed the Barefoot Bandit, pleaded guilty Friday in the state of Washington to all 33 charges he was facing in a series of thefts and burglaries.
Harris-Moore gained notoriety -- including garnering 50,000 Facebook fans and a movie deal -- for leading authorities on a two-year manhunt while eluding capture in stolen boats, cars and planes, often while barefoot, authorities said. He even once left chalk outlines of bare footprints at one crime scene.
One Washington sheriff was concerned that Harris-Moore was apparently becoming a cult hero or a Robin Hood, he said this year.
In June, Harris-Moore, 20, pleaded guilty to seven federal charges -- also in the state of Washington -- stemming from actions that led to his dramatic July 2010 capture in the Bahamas.
On Friday, he pleaded guilty to charges outlined in an Island County prosecutor's sentencing memorandum that accused Harris-Moore of multiple crimes in "numerous jurisdictions" in Washington, including Snohomish, San Juan and Island counties.
The 33 state charges against Harris-Moore relate to residential burglaries, identity thefts, a firearm theft, a car theft, attempting to elude a police vehicle and other offenses, according to the court memorandum.
In federal court this year, Harris-Moore pleaded guilty to stealing an airplane, piloting an airplane without a license, burglarizing a bank and possessing a firearm as a fugitive.
As part of the federal plea deal, Harris-Moore agreed to give up any profits that may come from book or movie deals on his story. His attorney has said Harris-Moore wants any such money to go to victims. Harris-Moore is estimated to owe more than $1.4 million in restitution in the federal case.
Under the Washington state plea arrangement, Harris-Moore would also have to give up any proceeds for restitution on the state offenses, court documents said.
He was arrested in July 2010 after allegedly crashing a stolen plane in the Bahamas and then trying to escape in a stolen boat. He'd been on the run from police since escaping from a Washington group home in 2008.
His attorney has said that his client hopes to go to college one day and "wants to study aviation or engineering."
San Juan County Sheriff Mark Brown said authorities weren't amused with Harris-Moore's crime spree.
"It should be more about apprehension of an adult felon criminal at this point and not so much about ... making this person some kind of a cult hero or a Robin Hood," he said.