Hermit: 1,000 burglaries by one guy in Maine?

Hermit: 1,000 burglaries are attributed to a Maine hermit. Christopher Knight told police he had broken into one campground about 50 times since he began living in the woods in 1986.

REUTERS/Maine State Police/Handout
Christopher Knight is shown in this 2012 surveillance photo from a private dwelling break-in released by Maine State Police on April 10, 2013. After almost three decades of living like a hermit in central Maine, he was arrested last week, police said on Tuesday.

Authorities say a man who lived like a hermit for decades in the woods of central Maine and may be responsible for more than 1,000 burglaries has been captured.

State police say in a court affidavit that 47-year-old Christopher Knight was arrested last week when he tripped a sensor while stealing food from a camp in Rome.

Authorities on Tuesday found the campsite where they believed Knight — known as the North Pond Hermit in local lore— has lived for 27 years.

Knight was arrested last Thursday as he left Pine Tree Camp with $283 worth of food. State Trooper Diane Vance says Knight told her he had broken into the camp about 50 times since he began living in the woods in 1986.

Knight's being held at the Kennebec County jail on burglary and theft charges.

Knight's activities, if proven, bear a remarkable similarity to the behavior of a man arrested last week in Utah. The so-called Mountain Man allegedly burglarized cabins in the Wasatch Mountains for six years. 

As The Christian Science Monitor reported, "For years, Troy Knapp was a figure in the mist, a figment floating across the rugged backcountry of southern Utah with a rifle slung over his shoulder and a grim set of the jaw. What he needed, he took, often from shuttered mountain cabins

For years, his name wasn’t known, until authorities matched a partial fingerprint from a cabin window to a California man who disappeared in 2002 after running afoul of authorities in the Golden State. But before then, motion-trigger cameras had caught several snapshots of the elusive, mysterious and possibly dangerous “mountain man,” sparking widespread debate about his identity.

On Tuesday, Knapp’s nearly seven year walkabout ended after a tip brought local law enforcement to his tracks, which they followed to a cabin where they could hear someone chopping wood. After a brief shootout, Knapp dropped his rifle and said, reportedly with a smile, “Good job, you got me.”

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

of 5 stories this month > Get unlimited stories
You've read 5 of 5 free stories

Only $1 for your first month.

Get unlimited Monitor journalism.