Combined teams of Utah police capture elusive “Mountain Man” thief

MANTI, Utah (ABC 4 News) – The alleged burglar who eluded police in central to southern Utah, for over half a decade is now behind bars.
MANTI, Utah (ABC 4 News) – The alleged burglar who eluded police in central to southern Utah, for over half a decade is now behind bars.

Tuesday at 6:20 p.m. was the exact moment alleged burglar Troy Knapp, aka “The Mountain Man”, walked into the Sanpete County Jail.

"We're extremely happy and relieved, all of us are safer because he's in custody," said
Sheriff Brian Nielson, Sanpete County.

Police have been trying to catch "Mountain Man" Knapp for at least 7 years. He was considered armed and dangerous. It's believed during his run Knapp broke into countless cabins and stole supplies to survive in places like Iron County, Kane County, Garfield County, Emery County, Beaver County, Piute County, Sanpete County and Sevier County.

Police finally got a tip he was near Ferron Reservoir in Emery County, and tracked him down early Tuesday morning. They found he had been living the Bartholomew family’s empty cabin in the same area.

"I was watching the TV and it's showing the screen shots of him, that they caught him and instantly I noticed he had my jacket on," said Ron Bartholomew, alleged burglar found at his family cabin.

At first Knapp tried to shoot at the Utah Dept. of Public Safety helicopter, but that only made it easier for police on the ground to pinpoint his position.

"Our guys just kind of kept cinching the circle on him and tightening the wagon I guess. They came in and got him cornered to where he couldn't go anywhere. Once he realized he had no where to go, he gave up," said Sheriff Nathan Curtis, Sevier County.

Sheriff Curtis said after they captured Knapp, he was eager to tell his story.

"He was kind of comparing himself to Robin Hood, saying they had excess and didn't need it, and I needed it, so I took it,” said Curtis.

The man who owns the cabin where Knapp was found said he’s happy police got him.

"It's a relief to know that he'd been caught,” said Eugene Bartholomew, alleged burglar found at his cabin.

Police are glad the hunt for the “Mountain Man” burglar is over.

"This is teamwork at it's finest from all over the state,” said Sheriff Nielson.

Police are still talking to Knapp to determine how many crimes he actually committed. From what ABC 4 is being told, police are barely starting to scratch the surface.

Police said it took officers from at least 11 different agencies to track down Knapp.

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Follow Brian Carlson on Twitter: @tv_briancarlson
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