Colton Harris-Moore Offered $50,000 to Surrender; Mom Says it's a Publicity Stunt

This Nov. 2007 photo provided Oct. 6, 2009 by the Island County, Wash. Sheriff's Office via the Everette Herald shows Colton Harris-Moore. Harris-Moore is suspected in about 50 burglary cases since he slipped away from a halfway house in April 2008. (AP Photo/Island County Sheriff's Office via the Everette Herald)
Colton Harris-Moore
Colton Harris-Moore (AP PHOTO)

CAMANO ISLAND, Wash. (CBS/AP) Colton Harris-Moore, otherwise known as the "Barefoot Bandit," now has 50,000 reasons to surrender, according to Everett, Wash. bounty hunter, Mike Rocha - that's the dollar amount he's offering the elusive teen - but Harris-Moore's mother says it's nothing more than a publicity stunt.

PICTURES: Great Escape Artist or Crook?

Rocha claims that he will be more than happy to post Harris-Moore's bond should he surrender, but Pam Kohler says she has met with Rocha in the past and doesn't believe he has her son's best interests at heart.

"If I knew where Colt was I sure as hell wouldn't tell him," Kohler told the Everett Daily Herald. "He's only doing it for publicity for his companies."

Harris-Moore, 19, has been on the run since he escaped from a Renton group home in April 2008. He has been suspected of breaking into homes and business in five Washington counties, British Columbia and Idaho. Police also believe he's taken four planes, luxury cars and power boats.

Kohler isn't the only one balking at the bounty hunter's offer. Island County Sheriff Mark Brown said last week that his office "cannot promote or participate in this as a solution to the problem."

Colton Harris-Moore
Colton Harris-Moore (AP Photo/Island County Sheriffs Office via the Everett Herald)

"I will continue to share investigative information with the various police agencies involved in apprehending Colton Harris-Moore," Brown continued. "But not to private interest groups, bounty hunters, etc."

PICTURES: Great Escape Artist or Crook?

Public sentiment is mixed among the community on Camano Island, Wash., about 36 miles from Everett, as demonstrated at a public forum Tuesday. Some echoed Sheriff Brown's feelings about Rocha's offer, comparing him to a vigilante.

But others welcomed the offer if it means catching Harris-Moore.

Elizabeth Sounder said Harris-Moore has been loose too long and caused too much heartache. One man said he'd like to see Harris-Moore dead. He was booed.

Harris-Moore has fostered a small community on Facebook that has begun to romanticize the wayward young man.

But however genuine Rocha's offer may be it isn't likely to be used anytime soon even if Harris-Moore were caught tomorrow, according to the Herald.

That's because the "Barefoot Bandit" still has a sentence to serve from his previous exploits on Camano Island, before he can even begin to answer for his most recent high-flying antics.

PICTURES: Great Escape Artist or Crook?

COMPLETE COVERAGE: Colton Harris-Moore: "Barefoot Bandit"