Police arrest suspect in Utah cabin burglaries

Updated at: 04/02/2013 12:35 PM
By PAUL FOY

(AP) SALT LAKE CITY - A survivalist suspected of burglarizing Utah cabins and evading law enforcement for years was arrested on Tuesday, authorities said.

Troy James Knapp was taken into custody in mountains outside of Ferron in central Utah, the Sanpete County Sheriff’s Office said.

The 45-year-old Knapp is suspected of being an armed and dangerous recluse who has spent more than five years breaking into dozens of mountain cabins across remote southern Utah.

Police say he’s been living off the comfort of cabins in winter and retreating to makeshift summer camps deep in the forest with stolen guns and supplies.

The last known time Knapp was spotted was on Oct. 1 by a surveillance camera in Sanpete County.

Iron, Kane and Garfield counties have all issued arrest warrants for Knapp on burglary and weapons charges.

While there have been no violent confrontations with Knapp, authorities had feared he was a ticking time bomb.

He is suspected of leaving some cabins riddled with bullet holes, defacing religious icons and writing taunting notes for cabin owners and authorities.

"Hey Sheriff ... Gonna put you in the ground!" one note said, according to court records.

Records indicate Knapp fell off the radar in 2002 when he apparently left California in violation of his parole for a burglary conviction. He was charged with theft in 2000 in California, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to two years in prison, according to records.

As a teenager, Knapp was convicted in Michigan of breaking and entering, passing bad checks and unlawful flight from authorities, according to court records in Kalamazoo County.

His most serious arrest for felony assault in Michigan was reduced in 1994 to a charge of malicious destruction of property after he agreed to plead guilty.

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(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)