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Move over, Leo — Colton’s got Facebook January 21, 2010

Posted by friedgreenbananafish in Facebook, Journalism, Twitter.
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We all remember Leonardo DiCaprio’s character from Catch Me if You Can Frank Abagnale Jr. who, while still in high school, experienced life as a pilot, doctor, lawyer, and counterfeiter extraordinaire.  

The decade of the sixties was a simpler time — less airport security, fewer paper trails, no ghost-like watermarks of dead presidents on our currency to discourage counterfeiters.  I remember sitting in the movie theatre, wondering if it would be possible to pull a con as legendary as Abagnale’s in today’s high-security world.  

But apparently, it’s easier than ever.  

Courtesy of Island County Sheriff's Office

Meet Colton Harris-Moore.   

To date, the 18-year-old fugitive has stolen two small airplanes (which he totaled after “learning” to fly on the internet), two boats, several cars, and items from over 50 homes. 

The police in his hometown of Camano Island, Washington, have been searching for him for almost two years – but are far from catching him. 

 

So how do they know he’s still alive? 

 Well, they can follow his tweets, for one.  Or they could always check his fan page on Facebook.   

Through these social networking sites, the legend of “Barefoot Harris-Moore” has exploded into a cult phenomenon — with people writing him songs, plastering his face on t-shirts, encouraging his flight from “the man” and even offering their addresses as safe harbor to him via Twitter. 

A few months ago, Facebook temporarily shut down Harris-Moore’s fan page before quietly restoring it due to protests by its nearly 16,000 angry members. 

For all we know, Harris-Moore may go live with one of his Twitter followers, or he may get caught in an undercover sting. 

But until that day, this boy genius will continue to puzzle us with his paradox of staying connected to the world through social media, yet living his life just off the radar.

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