Caught! The Barefoot Bandit
updated 07/26/2010 AT 01:00 AM EDT
•originally published 07/26/2010 AT 01:00 AM EDT
For two years he eluded authorities-both police around Washington-State's Camano Island, where he grew up, as well as baffled officers in at least five other states. He allegedly swiped everything from a blueberry cheesecake to five small airplanes, becoming both reviled by his victims and lionized by fans who saw him as a Robin Hood. But his cat-and-mouse game has come to a dramatic end. Having bolted the woods, he hot-wired a single-engine Cessna in Indiana and flew 1,000 miles, crash-landing just off the Bahamas-an extraordinary feat when you consider he taught himself to fly. Like the rest of this caper, his arrest at dawn on July 11 was nothing short of cinematic: Police chased him through the black waters, shooting bullets into the engine of his stolen boat.
Harris-Moore faces charges in the Bahamas and will likely be extradited to the U.S., where he's a suspect in 65 cases. Even so, his mom, Pam Kohler, says, "I'm very happy he's safe." Twentieth Century Fox, which could adapt his story for the big screen, is likely pleased as well. But not Lisa Chapman Dennis, of Whitinsville, Mass., who was keen on the 6'5" bandit: "I hoped he could've made it a little bit longer."