"He'll be looking for full-time work and will eventually be going to school," his attorney reportedly said this week

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August 04, 2016 02:20 PM

The Washington man whose spree of thefts without footwear captivated many – earning him a large social media following and a movie deal, as well as the nickname “Barefoot Bandit” – is set to be released from prison soon, PEOPLE confirms.

A representative with the state’s Department of Corrections tells PEOPLE Colton Harris-Moore will be released in late January.

But his defense attorney, John Henry Browne, told the The Seattle Times on Wednesday he will be moved to a halfway house much sooner – as early as this week.

Browne told the paper he has hired Harris-Moore to do part-time work in his law firm, answering phones and completing other clerical tasks, which Browne confirmed to CNN.

(Browne did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.)

Harris-Moore was sentenced to prison in December 2011 after he pleaded guilty in state court to more than 30 felonies in a multi-state spree that began in 2008 and ended in 2010.

(Harris-Moore also pleaded guilty to federal charges, and his prison sentences ran concurrently.)

Colton Harris-Moore
Ted S. Warren/AP

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Many of his crimes were committed barefoot, earning Harris-Moore his nickname.

Meanwhile, the Internet “made Harris-Moore a cult hero,” according to the Seattle Times, and some hailed him as a Robin Hood figure. He would sometimes post messages directly to his Facebook followers, according to the paper.

In a movie deal, Harris-Moore agreed that any profits would be given up, as required by his plea, according to CNN. (The studio in that deal, 20th Century Fox, paid more than $1 million owed by Harris-Moore in restitution, according to the Times.)

Speaking to the court in January 2012, Harris-Moore said his remorse was “heartfelt,” according to the Times. (His defense team has highlighted his difficult childhood.)

“He’ll be looking for full-time work and will eventually be going to school,” Browne told the Times.

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