Harris-Moore’s trail extends to Illinois

DALLAS CITY, Ill. – Add Illinois to the list of states now investigating crimes possibly linked to Colton Harris-Moore, the Camano Island fugitive who appears to be on a cross-country trek.

Police in Dallas City, Ill., Wednesday morning recovered a truck owned by the city of Ottumwa, Iowa. The vehicle had been reported stolen this morning, Ottumwa Police Lt. Tom McAndrew said.

Dallas City is just under 100 miles east of Ottumwa along the banks of the Mississippi River.

The incident is the latest in a string of incidents that appear connected to Harris-Moore, 19, a serial burglar with a long history of car thefts.

On Tuesday, police in Ottumwa recovered a vehicle stolen from Pella, Iowa, just as police there were investigating a vehicle that had been stolen from Nebraska.

Ottumwa police also are investigating a string of burglaries beginning at the city’s regional airport, then at a Mexican restaurant and a Frito Lay building, and finally at a city water and hydro building, where the truck was stolen, McAndrew said.

Police in each city are sharing information. While no suspects have been confirmed, “It appears all incidents are connected,” he said.

Harris-Moore escaped a Seattle-area group home in April 2008 where he was serving a three-year sentence for possession of stolen property. Since then, he’s suspected of stealing planes, boats and cars.

Late last month, police in southwest Washington recovered a note left a vet clinic signed by Harris-Moore. Fingerprints confirmed the note’s authenticity.

On June 1, a car was stolen from a small airport near Astoria, Ore. From there, a pattern of similar burglaries at small regional airports followed by burglaries and more stolen vehicles has been repeated nearly a dozen times. The path now stretches into Illinois.

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