A man who attracted notoriety as the “Barefoot Bandit” has been ordered to complete his probation after requesting that he be allowed to visit friends overseas and accept work outside Washington state as a motivational speaker, according to reports.
Colton Harris-Moore, now 28, claimed that the work would help him pay off more than $1 million in restitution he still owes to victims of his crimes.
Harris-Moore was sentenced in 2012 to more than six years in prison plus three years of supervised probation after being convicted following a string of crimes that included dozens of thefts and burglaries, the smashing of vehicles and the crash-landings of three stolen airplanes.
His nickname came from the sketches of a bare footprint that he often left behind at the crime scenes, and committed some crimes without wearing shoes or socks, reports said.
In arguing for her client to be relieved early of his probation obligations, attorney Colleen Hartl argued that Harris-Moore is a different person now than he was during his crime spree a decade ago, the Seattle Times reported.
“The ‘Barefoot Bandit’ has not been his identity or reality for over 10 years. The ‘Barefoot Bandit’ is gone,” Hartl wrote, according to court documents.
But U.S. District Court Judge Richard A. Jones, who received Harris-Moore’s request in April, denied it Friday, noting that Harris-Moore had not produced proof that he received any real offers for his services as a motivational speaker, Seattle’s KOMO-TV reported.
Harris-Moore also made his request for travel without informing his probation officer, which should have been the first step, the judge noted, according to the station’s report.
His crime spree began in 2008 after he escaped from a juvenile halfway house in Washington state, and ended in the Bahamas, where he crash-landed a plane that he stole in Indiana, KOMO reported.
"Upon completion of his entire sentence and continued effort to deliver on his promise to make everyone whole, Mr. Harris-Moore can shed the 'Barefoot Bandit' moniker and instead be known as Colton Harris-Moore, the role model for having turned his life of challenges into a success story to inspire others," the judge wrote in his ruling.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.