ROME, Maine (AP) — A man who lived like a hermit for decades in a makeshift camp in the woods and may be responsible for more than 1,000 burglaries for food and other staples has been caught in a surveillance trap at a camp he treated as a "Walmart," authorities said Wednesday.
Christopher Knight, 47, was arrested last week when he tripped a surveillance sensor set up by a game warden while stealing food from a camp for people with special needs in Rome, a town of about 1,000 whose population swells with the arrival of summer residents.
Now, see, I have zero problems with the "live in the woods and stay away from society" part. That's your thing, great. I am 100% behind that. It certainly sounds like he stayed away from hikers and campers and anyone else who wanted to use the woods for recreation. His living quarters were actually off the ground, and what provisions he had at ground level were apparently well-camouflaged. Lots of folks in the town had never even seen him.
However, what's not cool is that he was apparently stealing from pretty much everyone near the woods, especially a local camp. Folks with summer cabins there would leave food outside so he wouldn't break in over the winter, which makes me wonder if he wasn't doing just that anyways to stay warm. My wife's family has a cottage up in Maine on one of the lakes, and they've frequently dealt with break-ins. Usually it's teenagers partying it up; sometimes hunters taking a break from the cold; but there's usually a mess that someone else has to clean up.
You want to go off and live in the woods away from society, hey, that's your choice. You find a way to get food and supplies that doesn't involve stealing from productive people, I will be perfectly happy to leave you the hell alone all you want. When you start stealing food and supplies from everyone around you, though, you're not some iconic hermit, you're just a bum who won't do the necessary work to support himself. It's not some noble or romantic lifestyle, it's just some dude who won't get a job.
It is kinda surreal to see an urban legend doing the perp walk, though...
That is all.