A hermit was arrested for hundreds, if not thousands, of food thefts after living in the woods for 27 years.
Police say the so-called hermit 47-year-old Christopher Knight was arrested last week while stealing $280 in food from a camp in Rome, Maine.
The hermit had been living in the woods for decades and survived by stealing food from nearby camp sites. Police suspect the hermit may be responsible for more than 1,000 burglaries. The hermit admitted to breaking into the Pine Tree Camp for youth more than 50 times.
The hermit was arrested when he tripped a surveillance sensor set up by a game warden. Knight is known as the North Pond Hermit in local lore, and police already have found the campsite, which included a tent covered by tarps suspended between trees, a bed, propane cooking stoves, and a battery-run radio.
Ron Churchill, owner of Bear Spring Camps in Rome, says, “Anybody that’s hunted in the woods has seen a pile of rubble but didn’t think anything of it.” One local business has regularly lost propane containers to thefts, with two going missing just recently before police had the hermit arrested. Paul Anderson, a local to the area, acknowledged talk about a hermit living alone in the woods, but says, “I’ve lived in the town for 32 years and I’ve never, ever met the guy.
Sgt. Terry Hughes of the Maine Warden Service, who had the hermit arrested, says Knight told him he was the second human being he has spoken to since 1986.
After the police had the hermit arrested, a judge decided to put Knight on a $5,000 bail at the Kennebec County jail on charges of burglary and theft. The hermit has a video arraignment Friday for his first court appearance and his next court date is yet to be determined.