Published August 10, 2011
The "Barefoot Bandit" who led police on a hunt through the US, Canada and the Bahamas, has signed a $1.3 million movie deal to tell his life story -- with the proceeds to benefit his victims, Q13 Fox News reported Wednesday.
20th Century Fox Studios will make a film about Colton Harris-Moore, 20, who is in custody ahead of sentencing in SeaTac, Washington state. He claims donating the profits to his victims was his idea.
"It was my idea -- before the government knew about it," he wrote in a statement. "I learned that the 'Son of Sam' laws [which prevent convicted criminals from profiting from their stories] do not apply in my case because none of my crimes involved violence.
"Getting money to my victims is the least I can do, and because of my situation it is probably the best I can do.
"I am humbled to know I can now help the people I hurt, at least for the financial damage I caused them. I have absolutely zero interest in profiting from any of this and I won't make a dime off it. It all goes to restitution."
In a statement in June, the Department of Justice said the losses Harris-Moore caused his victims total more than $1.4 million.
Harris-Moore, from Camano Island, Washington, gained infamy after teaching himself to fly then stealing four aircraft, as well as cars, boats, bikes and cash in a spree across Washington, Idaho, South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois and Indiana. He reportedly committed some crimes barefoot and in one case he drew chalk footprints on the floor of a store he broke into.
While living rough he would break into houses to have a bath or eat ice cream. In May 2010 he broke into a veterinary clinic in Washington and left $100 with a note asking for the money to be used to care for animals.
He was arrested in July 2010 after a plane he stole in Indiana crash-landed on Great Abaco Island in the Bahamas.
Harris-Moore pleaded guilty to seven federal charges in a Seattle court in June after reaching a deal with prosecutors that any proceeds he might earn from selling his story would be used to compensate his victims. He is due for sentencing in October and prosecutors have recommended he serve 10 years in prison.