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News of Colton Harris-Moore's capture is false, says Coast Guard

Footprints were drawn on the floor of Homegrown Market and Deli.  - Meredith Griffith photo
Footprints were drawn on the floor of Homegrown Market and Deli.
— image credit: Meredith Griffith photo

Fugitive Colton Harris-Moore is considered a “strong person of interest” in an airplane theft and burglary of Orcas Homegrown late Feb. 10 and early Feb. 11.

Sheriff Bill Cumming said it is “presumptive but we feel probably accurate” that Harris-Moore is the suspect.

“That’s our operating theory. He’s a strong person of interest until we are able to physically link him to this event.”

Several agencies, including law enforcement from Island, Snohomish and Whatcom counties, are assisting in the search for the suspect.

The latest crimes occurred between midnight and 7 a.m. Feb. 11. An airplane taken from Skagit County was found abandoned at the Eastsound airport, and employees at Homegrown Market and Deli found the store burglarized. Feet were drawn on the floor with chalk. The suspect also wrote “C- YA.”

U.S. Coast Guard spokesman Chief Paul Roszkowski dispelled rumors this morning that the Coast Guard arrested Harris-Moore over the night. Roszkowski said that beside maintaining a regular presence in the region’s waters, Coast Guard personnel are boarding recreational vessels and doing marina walks as part of border security for the Olympics.

“We have not heard of any apprehension or any other involvement by the Coast Guard,” Roszkowski said. Citing one media report of a rumor that Harris-Moore had been arrested by the Coast Guard, he said, “I don’t know where they got that from.”

Sheriff Cumming could only speculate as to how a 6 foot 5 inch, 205-pound fugitive and burglary suspect could be so elusive — at one point last fall, on Orcas Island, he taunted pursuing officers.

“He’s young, he’s 18 years old, he’s athletic and fleet of foot.”

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