MARSH HARBOUR, Bahamas (CBS/WISH/AP) Colton Harris-Moore, the teenage fugitive with a celebrated history of escapes, has allegedly committed several nighttime burglaries in the Bahamas, eluding an FBI-aided manhunt on the sliver of an island where he apparently crash-landed a stolen plane.
Who didn't see that coming?...
Police pursuing the 19-year-old convict, dubbed "The Barefoot Bandit," were following a trail of break-ins from the southern tip of Great Abaco Island, where they believe he ditched the plane Sunday, to the main town of Marsh Harbour, 50 miles away, where the teen was recognized on surveillance footage of a restaurant burglary.
A Royal Bahamas Police Force bulletin warned that the 19-year-old should be considered armed and extremely dangerous.
But in the U.S., Harris-Moore has become a folk hero with a fan club hawking T-shirts emblazoned with his image, songs about his exploits and tens of thousands of followers on Facebook.
"The Barefoot Bandit" seemingly began his Bahamas caper when he guided a single-engine Cessna into clear blue, knee-deep waters at a sparsely populated corner of the island. He apparently followed a peninsula of land to the town of Sandy Point, and he was reportedly seen walking across a road around the time a service station was burglarized Sunday night.
Station owner Dwight Pinder said the thief stole a Gatorade and two packets of potato chips, leaving a bundle of food and drinks on the counter - a sign he apparently left in a rush.
He said the thief was so skilled that he didn't even scratch the lock he picked.
A nearby house was also burglarized, with the culprit making off with a brown Chevrolet Tahoe that was later found abandoned in Marsh Harbour.
Assistant Police Commissioner Glenn Miller said Harris-Moore is a suspect in the burglary of at least seven homes and businesses on Great Abaco, the largest of dozens of small islands and cays that are a part of the sprawling Bahamas archipelago east of Florida. The island of 16,000 people is small, but its dense clusters of trees provide good cover for a proven outdoorsman like Harris-Moore.
Crowds of visiting tourists in town for an annual regatta may also make it easier for the fugitive to escape notice.
"Around here, everyone knows everyone else. But there's a whole lot of sailors in town, and he could easily slip in with them," said Dave Gonin, a Canadian-born architect who lives on the island.
National Security Minister Tommy Turnquest said local authorities were working with the FBI, which posted a $10,000 reward for information leading to Harris-Moore's capture.
"If he is there to be caught our police will catch him," Turnquest said.