Colton Harris-Moore's first criminal conviction for theft came at the age of 12, and his rise to spectacular folk hero status proceeded logarithmically from there. From ages 12 to 17, Harris-Moore went from stealing bicycles to stealing automobiles, speedboats, and, finally, light aircraft. He also robbed a hundred or so private residences of things such as bear mace and night vision goggles, presumably anticipating his future of hiding in the wilderness with search helicopters whizzing overhead.
You have to be prepared if you're going to spend a lot of time hiding under ferns.
In May of 2010, police in Raymond, Washington, found $100 and a handwritten note outside of a veterinary clinic that read: "Drove by, had some extra cash. Please use this money for the care of animals," signed by Harris-Moore. Of course, the car he drove by in had been stolen, as well as the cash, but at least he proved himself to be compassionate when it came to the welfare of animals, if not to the people whose s**t he couldn't stop stealing.
It was after finding that note that the feds connected Harris-Moore to a string of auto thefts in Idaho, South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, and Illinois, and the hunt was on. Around this time, news of his antics started to spread and a Facebook fan page was launched that gained 60,000 members and 100,000 likes. He became an Internet sensation, and people started selling T-shirts with his picture on it and the caption "Momma Tried." He became known as the "Barefoot Bandit" for reportedly committing some of his crimes while barefoot, but also for taunting the police by drawing 39 cartoonish chalk outlines of bare feet at a crime scene with the word "c'ya."
We give him an A+ for cryptic, but a C for penmanship.