Is Alleged Teen Airplane Thief At It Again?


Although authorities are not coming right out and saying it, it appears that Colton Harris-Moore, an 18-year-old suspected airplane thief from coastal Washington, may have broadened his horizons and added firearms to the mix. KOMO reports that on Thursday, a Cessna 182 that was stolen Tuesday from Bonners Ferry, Idaho, was found in a logged off area of wilderness near Granite Falls, Wash. It had suffered a hard landing but was intact; the arrival was considered survivable and no one was around. On Sunday night, Granite Falls police were investigating an unusual robbery at a home in the town and reported a gunshot from the woods nearby. A massive search by police on Monday turned up nothing and there’s been no sign of him since but that fits the profile of the slippery Harris-Moore, who has repeatedly eluded would-be captors. Oh, and the only items missing from the typically booty-filled suburban home were a comforter (overnight temperatures are in the 30s), some food and the homeowners’ passports.

Harris-Moore is suspected of stealing another 182 and a Cirrus SR22 in Washington State in September before he is suspected of stealing a boat and taking it to Point Roberts, a small area of the state surrounded by water and bordering Canada. It’s theorized by some that he got into Canada from Point Roberts and traveled through British Columbia before sneaking across the border to Bonners Ferry, where he found the 182. He has no formal flight training but authorities have said there is evidence that he’s been studying flight instruction on the Internet. All three of the aircraft he may have taken have been damaged but the latest suspected theft shows some accumulation of skill (or profound luck). Not many landings on rough areas, like the logging cutblock the most recent stolen 182 was found on, end up any better and if the untrained teen is behind it, he’s been minding his virtual training. Granite Falls is on course from Bonners Ferry to Camano Island, where Harris-Moore is from. Note the fully deployed flaps on the 182 in the accompanying photo.