The "Barefoot Bandit" will be released to a halfway house and a work release program soon, possibly as early as this week; his formal release date from prison is Jan. 17. And Colton Harris-Moore, 25, already has a job lined up. His lawyer, John Henry Browne, says Harris-Moore will "be looking for full-time work and will eventually be going to school," but in the meantime, he'll have a part-time job doing clerical work and answering phones at Browne's Seattle office, the Seattle Times reports. Browne says Harris-Moore would ultimately like to be an aeronautical engineer and is being mentored by a Boeing engineer. "He's matured a lot," Browne, who says he had "mixed emotions" upon first offering Harris-Moore a job, tells KOMO. Harris-Moore also has a place to live, and is more "ahead of the game than most released," Browne adds.
Browne took on Harris-Moore's defense for just $1, and has said Harris-Moore's drive to improve himself is impressive: "Indeed, Colton, one of my favorite clients today, truly is a triumph," Browne wrote in his recently published autobiography. Harris-Moore became "something of a folk hero," the Times notes; he was a hungry and neglected child when he first turned to a life of crime and was first sent to jail for burglary at age 17. He escaped from a halfway house in 2008 and eluded authorities while committing break-ins and thefts for two years, even stealing boats, cars, and planes. His nickname comes from the sketch of bare footprints he'd leave behind as a signature (and the fact that he was often barefoot while committing his crimes, CNN notes). He was caught in the Bahamas after he flew a stolen plane there. A movie deal will help Harris-Moore repay his victims. (Click for more of the Barefoot Bandit's fascinating story.)