Authorities Won't Consider New Theft Reports in 'North Pond Hermit' Case

Article excerpt

AUGUSTA, Maine -- Authorities will not be considering any newly reported thefts or burglaries in the case of the man now known as the "North Pond Hermit," according to Kennebec County District Attorney Maeghan Maloney.

Christopher Knight, 47, has been held in Kennebec County Jail in Augusta since his arrest earlier this month after he was caught allegedly burglarizing the Pine Tree Camp in Rome. On Friday, he also was charged with burglary and theft for stealing food and the pair of jeans and the brown leather belt he was wearing when he was apprehended after 27 years living alone in the woods.

Knight allegedly admitted to committing more than 1,000 burglaries to area camps and homes while living in the woods to steal items, such as food, sleeping bags and clothing, he needed in order to survive.

"If you didn't report your burglary or theft case before Mr. Knight was arrested, if it wasn't important enough for you to report at the time, we're not taking those reports now," said Maloney. "There's no question that Mr. Knight is a sympathetic person in some ways, but we also do have to remember that there are a number of victims who had not just items stolen from them, but also had their sense of security stolen from them. My hope is at the very least that we will be able to get restitution for the victims."

She added that she expects perhaps 15-20 charges in the case, not the 1,000 or more that Knight told authorities he was responsible for.

Knight appeared in Kennebec County Superior Court Tuesday afternoon through a video link with Kennebec County Jail. He said nothing other than "yes" or "no" to a handful of questions from Justice Nancy Mills.

According to the affidavit written by state police Trooper Diane Perkins-Vance, lead investigator in the case, Knight admitted to burglarizing a seasonal residence at 67 Maple Ridge Road in Rome between Sept. 30 and Oct. 8, 2012. Knight allegedly forced open a kitchen window to gain access to the property. Perkins-Vance seized the jeans and belt, which were in storage at Kennebec County Jail.

"Knight told me he remembered this and that he was responsible," wrote Perkins-Vance, who also stated that she questioned Knight about numerous other cases that stemmed from between 2008 and 2012. …