Published: Jul 13, 2010 11:53 AM EDT
Updated: Jul 13, 2010 8:54 AM EDT

CAMANO ISLAND, Wash. (AP) - Residents of the rural island where

the "Barefoot Bandit" first learned to dodge police through thick

ferns and cedar trees are lashing out at the teen's mother, saying

it wouldn't be right for her to profit off a two-year crime spree

that has finally landed him in a Bahamian jail.

Authorities and victims of Colton Harris-Moore, 19, have long

suggested that his mother is at least partly to blame for his

alleged behavior - breaking into unoccupied vacation homes and

using credit cards that weren't his, stealing cash, cars, boats and

even five airplanes. His first conviction for stolen property came

at age 12.

But recent word that she has hired a well-known Seattle

entertainment and intellectual property lawyer who has represented

the likes of Courtney Love and the father of Jimi Hendrix drew

widespread derision here. Many residents assume she's trying to

profit from her son's crimes through movies or books.

"Of course she wants the money. She doesn't work," said Joshua

Flickner, whose family owns a grocery store on Camano Island.

"What makes me more angry than the fact that she's trying to

profit off this is that there's any profit to be had. There

shouldn't be a profit - he's a criminal. He's damaged people -

average people, middle-class people."

Harris-Moore was due in court Tuesday in Nassau on suspicion of

illegal weapons possession and what officials described as a

"litany" of other charges stemming from his week in the Bahamas.

Having apparently made his way across the U.S. in a series of

stolen vehicles, he arrived in the Bahamas on July 4 in a plane

taken from an Indiana airport. He was captured early Sunday after a

high-speed boat chase during which police shot out his motor.

Prosecutors in the U.S. are also preparing cases against him. He

is suspected in about 70 property crimes across eight states and

British Columbia, many of them in the bucolic islands of Washington


Harris-Moore's mother, Pam Kohler, lives in the trailer where

she raised him on Camano Island. It sits deep in thick woods, down

a long gravel drive past a spraypainted sign warning trespassers

that they'll be shot. She did not return a call seeking comment,

but issued a statement through her lawyer.

"I am very relieved that Colt is now safe and that no one was

hurt during his capture," it said. "I have not yet been able to

speak to him. It has been over two-and-a-half years since I have

seen him, and I miss him terribly."

Harris-Moore spent Monday being questioned by investigators.

Police Commissioner Ellison Greenslade described him as eloquent,

calm, cooperative and "obviously a very intelligent young man,"

but declined to say whether he made any confession.

Greenslade said the defendant could be extradited to the U.S.

relatively quickly, but declined to comment further on the handling

of the case.

Kohler spent several hours Monday meeting with her attorney, O.

Yale Lewis, who downplayed any profit motive his new client might

have. He said she contacted him for advice after being inundated by

requests from news reporters as well as inquiries about book and

movie deals.

"Her feelings are relief and exhaustion," Lewis said.

"Obviously, there is enormous interest in this story, and she

wants to be careful about how to proceed. But her first concern has

been to make sure her son is safe, and I think she hasn't given

much thought beyond that."

Kohler's older sister, Sandra Puttmann, of Arlington, was the

first relative to hear from Harris-Moore after his arrest Sunday.

She said he's "holding up" but scared now that he's in custody

for the first time since he walked away from a halfway house south

of Seattle and began his two-year theft spree. Harris-Moore didn't

have his mother's phone number, she said.

She gave it to him, but as of Monday night, he still had not

spoken with Kohler.

"I'm so glad he got through to me," Puttmann said. "At least

he heard a friendly voice. We cried together."

Puttmann declined to divulge further details of what she

described as their brief phone conversation Sunday. But she angrily

criticized news stories about her nephew, saying reporters

typically gloss over his difficult upbringing.

Police routinely accused him of stealing even when he hadn't and

school officials didn't give him a chance, she alleged - something

police and school officials have adamantly denied.

Harris-Moore told a psychologist in 2008 that his mother was

abusive when she'd been drinking, according to a court document

cited Monday by The Herald newspaper of Everett. His father left

when he was a toddler, and his stepfather died when he was 7,

Kohler has said.

"The boy needs help, and he's still just a boy - even if he's

19," Puttmann said. "You have to assume something made him go

bad. ... Why don't you go into detail on that?"

Other Camano residents had little sympathy.

"There's a lot of relief throughout the community," said real

estate agent Mark Williams. "I think the man's luck just wore out.

You run through the woods long enough, you're going to trip over a