The bounty hunting profession taken some hits image-wise these last few years--mostly because of this guy. So, to help rehab the the industry's reputation, Mike Rocha, owner of the Bail Enforcement Agency in Everett says he's hoping to cultivate a little positive p.r. by helping catch Colton Harris-Moore free of charge.
Fortunately for Harris-Moore, Boba Fett doesn't work pro-bono.
"Our industry has taken a lot of black eyes," says Rocha, "This being such a high-profile case, we figure it would be a good showcase for us." Rocha says the idea came out of a conversation he had with David Peters of Catch the Barefoot Bandit, the anti-Colton blog that launched last month. Rocha started out donating $2500 to the reward fund. Now he and his team are planning on adding Colton's case to their workload.
Predictably, this has caused some irritation amongst the local cops who have been chasing Harris-Moore for just over two years.Speaking to the Everett Herald , Island County Sheriff Mark Brown ruled out any cooperative efforts between Rocha and his department. "I cannot promote or participate in this as a solution to the problem."
Rocha takes issue with that, saying that the Sheriff's Department solicits outside help every time a deputy asks community residents for info on a case. "We're just trying to help." he says.
Fugitive recovery agents are authorized only track and arrest bail-jumpers, says Rocha. And Colton escaped from incarceration. So, even if Rocha wanted to he doesn't have the legal authority to make a binding arrest. Given that, Rocha stresses that his team's efforts will be limited to cultivating sources on Harris-Moore's whereabouts and turning that information over to police. But he admits that he'd act on a hot tip if it appeared on his radar. In that event, he says he'd alert the police while trying to keep the notoriously elusive Harris-Moore contained "within a perimeter."
Josh Flickner, president of the Camano Island Chamber of Commerce, says that despite the sheriff's comments, some of his deputies are quietly supportive and welcome the extra help.
Rocha's participation in Harris-Moore's continuing saga starts tonight on Camano Island, where he'll explain to residents what his role in the investigation will be.