Review: The Barefoot Bandit

The broad strokes are indelible: Teenager eludes authorities for two years—stealing cars, boats, even planes.

In The Barefoot Bandit, ISLANDS contributor Bob Friel didn't just report on Colton Harris-Moore's crime spree; he lived it. Bob is a resident of the San Juan Islands, Colton's home and the place where he escalated from local nuisance to international outlaw. The vulnerabilities of small island communities, the resilience of a bright but troubled teen and the failure of a child-welfare system are told from the inside as this page-turner unfolds. Did Colton really re-steal a bike from the police to return it to its owner? How did he teach himself to fly? Why flee to the Bahamas?

Exclusive interviews with his mom, victims and friends reveal the true Barefoot Bandit, and a life of missed potential. But boy, what a ride.