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Originally published July 12, 2010 at 4:14 PM | Page modified July 12, 2010 at 5:46 PM

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Colton Harris-Moore: Busted in the Bahamas

Colton Harris-Moore, dubbed the Barefoot Bandit, had little regard for the law and even less for the personal property of others. His two-year crime spree came to a welcome end with his capture in the Bahamas.

COLTON Harris-Moore is a troubled and dangerous youth whose two-year crime spree should not be treated by the courts or the public as a youthful lark.

The 19-year-old, dubbed the "Barefoot Bandit" for his preference of being shoeless when committing some of his crimes, left a trail of victims, many of whom cheered in supermarkets and roadways when they heard of his capture.

Harris-Moore faces charges in the Bahamas including weapons possession and burglaries allegedly committed during his weeklong hideout in the island chain.

In the Pacific Northwest, he faces a federal charge of interstate transportation of stolen property in connection with theft of an airplane in Idaho and a litany of charges in Island County Superior Court stemming from a July 2008 crime spree. That spree began after Harris-Moore escaped from a Renton halfway house where he had been serving time for burglarizing homes on Camano Island.

Despite the youth's wide swath of public destruction, some have misguidedly sought to make him into an international hero. More than 77,000 Facebook users are fans of a page set up in his honor. A Wikipedia page details his criminal exploits.

Such hero worshipping is potentially dangerous.

Harris-Moore is not a swashbuckling adventurer but a fugitive who put a gun to his head as authorities closed in on him during a pre-dawn boat chase. He does not need misguided fans, but rather jail time, possibly psychological help and a strict restitution plan.

The youth's mother, Pam Kohler, reportedly plans to take advantage of the widespread interest in her son and write a book. But Kohler did a disservice to her son by publicly urging him to keep running from the law. Judging by the youth's criminal history, Kohler is the last person on Earth who should write a mother's tome about her son.

An obstacle to Kohler's not-so-subtle cash-in plans should come by way of Washington state's Son of Sam law, designed to prevent criminals and their representatives from profiting from crimes through tell-all accounts in books, magazines or movies.

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