Tuesday, May 6, 2008

A modern Adirondack hermit

Man tells police he has lived in woods for past 20 years

Buried in the thick woods of northern Warren County, 2 miles from the nearest road, was a testament to human adaptability.

A tarp-covered lean-to loaded with clothing, sleeping bags and provisions — items believed to have been stolen from seasonal homes around the Brant Lake region — was his residence, at least for the last several months.

The man police believe endured the elements of the Adirondacks in a pine-branch shelter was Alan G. Como, 56, whose last known address was in Massachusetts, police said. He told police he’d lived in the woods for the past 20 years.

This guy had been breaking in and burglarizing camps for gear - for 20 years!! Seems he started near Chazy Lake and began moving south after he was detected.

Big and muscular with little fat on his body, police said he is in remarkably good shape for someone his age who has apparently lived in the woods for at least several years.

“He’s a pro. He knows what he’s doing,” Cleveland said.

Only items needed for survival — clothes, sleeping bags, food and batteries — were taken during the burglaries, with the thief leaving behind valuables like jewelry and electronics, the sheriff said.

Here’s the best account of his capture:

For over a year, Warren County Sheriffs Deputies and State Police have been looking for a man living in camps in the middle of the woods, stealing items here and there from camps in northern Warren County.

“A lot of people seen him and whatnot, but they just weren’t able to catch up to him,” says Paul Smith, with the Horicon Highway Department.

Until Wednesday, the arrest of 59-year-old Alan Como came on the heels of a Tuesday morning tip from two Horicon snowplow operators who saw something that just did not look right.

“2:30 in the morning, somebody is out on a bicycle and there is two-inches of snow on the road…something is going on,” says Mark Younes, with the Horicon Highway Department.

There was a bike trail in the snow that the plows followed along their route.

“I finally tracked him out on to Pallisades Road, which eventually leaded to Beaver Pond Road,” Younes says. “Then that was the end of my route, and one of the other plow guys picked the track up from there.”

The plow operator followed the tracks in the snow until they went over the snow bank and left the road.

“They sent up some investigators…Mark and I went up to show them where he went over the bank, and they took it from there,” says Smith.

After two days of scouring the woods, on Wednesday, deputies found Como’s latest campsite.

“(It was) about two-miles in, way back in the deep woods…(we) spooked this guy out of his place,” says Warren County Sheriff Larry Cleveland.

Then, a nearly two-mile foot chase ensued, until Como ran into uniformed officers waiting for him.


These stories never fail to capture my imagination... I guess I'm a "hermit wannabee"!
I've always been a bit of a loner, often don't work and play well with others, and just generally cherish my alone time.. Don't know if I could withdraw from society for twenty years, but I must admit I find the idea appealing.
I'm also not enamored with rules and regulations, unless I come to the realization on my own that it's what's best for me.
I remember seeing doormats that had the inscription "GO AWAY".. I always wanted one, but gave in to my wife's wishes.. She could be the only person that keeps me from a primitive life in the woods..


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