FRIDAY HARBOR, Wash. (CBS/AP) He is the 6-foot-5 teenager that is embarrassing police by finding new ways to continue his 18-month string of northwest Washington burglaries.
Now new documents say DNA found after a grocery store break-in on Orcas Island last month matches that of Colton Harris-Moore, 18, who is also known as the "Barefoot Burglar."
Papers filed in San Juan County Superior Court say blood found at the Island Market in the sleepy island town of Eastsound was tested by the state crime lab and matched to the DNA of Harris-Moore. County prosecutors used the DNA evidence to charge him with second-degree burglary.
The Herald of Everett reports that the DNA match is the first proof of the teenager's exact whereabouts since police found a snapshot Harris-Moore took of himself on July 8, 2008.
Such encounters have become all too common on the bucolic islands north of Seattle as police hunt for the elusive thief whose crime spree is quickly becoming a local legend. Harris-Moore is suspected in about 50 burglary cases since he slipped away from a halfway house in April 2008.
The 18-year-old typically breaks into businesses or unoccupied vacation homes, lies down on the couch and then dashes into the woods if confronted. He earned himself the nickname of "the barefoot burglar" by committing some of his crimes without wearing shoes.
Authorities also allege he may have stolen three small aircraft and crash-landing them.
Police believe Harris-Moore also recently took thousands of dollars from safes and ATMs at businesses in the Orcas Island hamlet of Eastsound.
The teen has exploited the fact that the police do not have the manpower to mount an all-out hunt in a property crime case. Sheriff's offices on some of the islands do not even have tracking dogs.
Frustrated residents wonder how hard it is to find the teenager in the confines of an island, while red-faced cops bristle at what they see as attempts to romanticize the fugitive.
Harris-Moore had his first conviction, for possession of stolen property, by age 12. Within a few months of turning 13, he had three more. Each brought a 10-day stint in detention or community service.
In 2007, he was sentenced to nearly four years in juvenile detention after being caught in an unoccupied home when a neighbor noticed the lights on. But he did well enough at the detention center that he was transferred to a halfway house, where he escaped out of an open window.