When authorities finally caught up with Colton Harris-Moore, better known as the barefoot bandit, on Sunday, he was carrying a bag and a gun and running through a Bahamian marina.
"They're after me. They're after me. They're going to kill me," he reportedly yelled as he sprinted up a staircase, chased by a security guard at Romora Bay Resort and Marina, on Harbour Island.
Harris-Moore, 19, originally from Washington state, had been on the run for two years across four states and the Bahamian islands, wanted for a $3 million string of thefts, including boats and light aircraft that he allegedly stole and piloted thousands of miles without any formal training. His evasions and thefts had gained him more than 70,000 Facebook fans. In Seattle, where he became a folk hero, people wore "Fly, Colton, Fly" T shirts.
At 4 a.m. on Sunday, according to the Los Angeles Times, Harris-Moore leaped into a 30-foot boat parked at the marina. He opened the throttle but soon ran aground. Police shot the boat's engine to immobilize it, and approached.
According to reports, Harris-Moore threw his computer and iPhone into the ocean, and reportedly held his gun to his head before police coaxed him off the boat. He was still barefoot, his 6-foot-5 frame hunched over, in a gray T shirt, pale shorts, and a bulletproof vest, as he walked shackled from a police car later.
Harris-Moore grew up on Camano Island, Wash. According to the BBC, frequent brushes with the law during a difficult childhood resulted in a 2008 detention. He escaped from a halfway house and allegedly began breaking into vacation homes to steal food, electronics, and credit cards—all while barefoot.
His ambitions increased. In November 2008, again according to the BBC, he stole a Cessna 182 airplane. He had reportedly never taken a flying lesson, but he managed to take off, and crash-landed 300 miles away. He allegedly stole another plane in Idaho late last year and flew it back to Washington. Last week, apparently more confident despite a $10,000 reward offered for his capture, he allegedly stole yet another plane, in Indiana, before flying it 1,200 miles to the Bahamas. Colton-Harris, who was reportedly diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactive disorder, did not graduate from high school.