NASSAU, Bahamas — Police were hunting across a tourist island Tuesday for signs of a pilot who vanished after wrecking a small plane. Investigators in the United States turned their suspicions toward an American teenager on the run dubbed “the Barefoot Bandit.”

The single-engine Cessna 400 Corvalis that crashed in shallow water off Abaco island was apparently stolen more than 1,000 miles away in Bloomington, Ind. the time rescuers arrived Sunday, nobody was inside.

The plane was stolen over the weekend from the Monroe County Airport, said manager Bruce Payton. It was unclear how the thief got into the airport, which has a 10-foot fence with barbed wire and coded access gates.

U.S. authorities said the theft has similarities to other crimes attributed to 19-year-old Colton Harris-Moore, a Washington state teenager who has no formal flight training.

The teen got his nickname for allegedly committing crimes while shoeless. He is suspected of stealing cars and small planes to evade authorities since escaping from a halfway house near Seattle in 2008.

Payton said a detective with the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department told him authorities had recovered a stolen vehicle about a half-mile from the Indiana airport and “the details of the stolen vehicle seemed to fit that of the pattern known as the Barefoot Bandit.”

Authorities believe he has taken five planes, luxury cars and power boats.

FBI Special Agent Steven Dean in Seattle said a warrant for Harris-Moore was issued for the theft of an airplane from Bonners Ferry, Idaho, on Sept. 29, 2009. The plane crash-landed after running out of fuel 260 miles away near Snohomish, Wash.

In Abaco, a sparsely populated northern Bahamian island known for fishing and sailing, police were handing out wanted posters appealing for information about Harris-Moore.

A statement on the website of the U.S. Embassy in Nassau said Harris-Moore may have recent injuries; the embassy urged anyone who sees him to contact the nearest Bahamas police station. It said the FBI is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to his arrest.

The Cessna was reported missing Sunday after the owner received a call from the U.S. Coast Guard that the emergency locator transmitter was sending out a signal off the coast of the Bahamas, Payton said.