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Troy James Knapp; lessons from a captured lone wolf.

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posted on Apr, 8 2013 @ 11:37 PM
For years authorities have been searching for an elusive cabin burglar in Utah.
The search came to an end recently with the capture of Troy James Knapp.

He's eluded authorities for more than five years, a mountain man who roams the wilderness of southern Utah, breaking into remote cabins in winter, living in luxury off hot food, alcohol and coffee before stealing provisions and vanishing into the woods.
While I do not condone property crimes i have to admit this story has fascinated me since I first became aware of it a few years ago.
A thread from 17-2-2012;

We are avid hikers and we have often discussed the "Lone Wolf" scenario as far as survival issues are concerned. We have familiarized ourselves with edible plants and we have high quality rod and reels that will practically fit into your shirt pocket. We have also experimented with small game traps. (caught plenty of squirrels.) I admit, in a life or death situation, I would be tempted to take advantage of unattended supplies.

But this is where this guy went wrong;

He sometimes tidied up a cabin, but other times left it a mess or riddled with bullets, authorities say. He was known to deface religious icons. He scrawled notes for cabin owners, alternatively thanking them or demanding they "get off my mountain." He also warned sheriffs he was "gonna put you in the ground!"

We own property and a cabin in remote northern Arizona and we leave this property unattended for months at a time. In the six years we have owned this property we have had one break-in. The person who broke in damaged one window but nothing else. They slept in our bed, ate our food, took some extreme weather clothing such as socks and a jacket, but other than that they left the place pretty much as they found it. We didn't report the crime because the loss did not out weigh the trouble of making the report. It could have been much worse considering we have many valuable things there that could have been taken.

I discussed this break-in with my neighbors (4 miles away) and they told me that there were "National Forest Tramps" who lived in the forest and who occasionally pilfered unattended properties for supplies.
I actually considered leaving the place unlocked when we left just to avoid any further damage in case of another "visit".

I believe that if Troy Knapp had been more respectful of peoples property he may have attracted less attention.
He obviously has some serious survival/evasion skills;

Even authorities have found something to admire in Knapp's knack for survival and evasion. He stepped on saplings to avoid leaving discernible boot tracks and changed stolen footwear often to confuse searchers. He walked alongside trails instead of on them and kept mostly to backcountry.
But his contempt for authority and others clouded his reason and ultimately created so much attention that he became a headline.

It makes me wonder about the person/persons who broke into our cabin. Did they know from experience that being moderate with their presence would more likely garner less attention?
How long could Troy Knapp have survived like this if he had been more respectful?
If my burglar had repaired my window, how would I feel about the break in?
Am I just too soft on these issues?

The truth is my cabin and many others are sitting ducks. You could stand on my roof naked and scream for days and no one would ever know. I am at the mercy of the universe when it comes to property crime, but in some way I feel lucky that my burglar was either crafty or respectful enough to keep the damage and loss to a minimum.

edit on 9-4-2013 by tanda7 because: punctuation

posted on Apr, 9 2013 @ 07:59 AM

In February, law enforcers were finally able to identify Knapp because of a photograph taken by a wildlife camera and fingerprints.
This photo and the one above were taken with wildlife cameras.

He was ultimately captured because of habitual behavior and carelessness.

By Tuesday, his life on the lam came to an end, done in by an educated guess by searchers who had grown to know his tendencies, the tracks he left with his snowshoes and the sounds of him chopping wood outside a cabin near a mountain reservoir.

posted on Apr, 9 2013 @ 08:58 AM
Not much of a survivalist if he has to continually break in to cabins and steal what he needs ( and then some). Apparently he doesn't care much about "his mountain' either considering the enormous messes he left with abandoned camps. Glad they caught him, surprised it didn't happen sooner actually. I doubt they were looking very hard for him but since there were no violent crimes involved they didn't use the resources they could have.

So what are the lessons learned? Keep a trail cam near your cabin is all I'm coming up with.

posted on Apr, 16 2013 @ 10:10 AM
reply to post by tanda7

The guy in Maine they just got, similar case, except he was more respectful, got away with it for like 25 years...

posted on Apr, 16 2013 @ 10:37 AM

Originally posted by Gazrok
reply to post by tanda7

The guy in Maine they just got, similar case, except he was more respectful, got away with it for like 25 years...
I saw that. I have seen in the reports about Knapp that he usually left behind empty whiskey bottles. I'm all for having a drink but I suspect he may have gotten a little too drunk a few times and became unnecessarily destructive. That and the hand written threats to law enforcement may have expedited his (Knapp's) capture.

posted on Apr, 16 2013 @ 10:42 AM
reply to post by tanda7

I think the larger point here is that he was not really a survivalist in any sense of the term. Once he was focused on with LEO resources he was relatively quickly captured.

There are examples of other people who were far more successful. One guy in Arizona, grand canyon area, actually turned himself in because he was bored with playing tag with the police. They never could pin him down.

The man in the OP was simply someone who wandered around the mountains pilfering what he could find. In a real survival situation he wouldn't last long in my opinion.

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