Sheriff's Office helps search for bandit
The Emery County Sheriff's Office has participated in a search for the Mountain Man bandit. It is believed the bandit carries a portable radio with him and he seems to stay one step ahead of law enforcement. Emery County Sheriff Greg Funk said, "Two of our local elk hunters in the Peavine area of the Muddy drainage spotted a man on Nov. 4. They said he seemed suspicious and was carrying a large backpack and a rifle. They reported this man to us on Nov. 5. We passed the information along to the Sanpete County Sheriff's Office, since this spotting was in Sanpete County. We sent up a tracking team to help them and the tracking began on Tuesday. They began trailing the subject. He was seen heading southbound to the Emerald Lake area. They trailed him and he doubled back to the north and spent the night along the Muddy River. On Wednesday, we went back up and tracks were scarce. He had changed from boots into tennis shoes making tracking difficult. We began tracking on Wednesday in the Horse Haven area. We were unable to locate any more tracks. We decided to check the cabins in the Ferron Reservoir area. We found he had been in one of the cabins. He cuts a screen, opens a window and enters the cabin, this is what he's typically known for in all of his cabin break-ins. The tracks around the cabin matched those of the initial boot prints we had been following earlier in the week. We planned with Adult Probation and Parole, Sanpete County, Sevier County, Utah County and our team to comb the area. But, it was during this time the storms came in and we believe he holed up somewhere and all the tracks were covered with snow.
"We are very concerned and we ask the help of the public in locating this individual. We are concerned for the safety of those out in the field either at their cabins or hunting. Typically he avoids people, but we would like any suspicious activity to be reported so we can check into it. If possible take pictures of the boot tracks if you can so they can be compared to the tracks we have. There is a federal warrant out for this man. He is a felon in possession of a fire arm, he is also wanted in Iron County for burglary, they have filed charges against him. He's been on the run for approximately 10 years now and he is originally a parole violator from California where he is on paper. His name is Troy James Knapp and he's approximately 44 years old.
"When he breaks in he's usually pretty good, he just eats, showers and he cleans up after himself. He did deface some cabins in southern Utah, if it looked like the owners worked for the government or if there were religious pictures or artifacts in the home. If you have a cabin, be aware of any unusual tracks around the cabin. Usually in the winter, he looks for an unoccupied cabin and stays there. He is suspected in a cabin break in the Fairview Lakes area and the Accord Lake area in Sevier County. Now, it appears he's hitting cabins in the Sanpete County area. If you see something suspicious please report immediately, it seems like sightings aren't reported in a timely manner and then it puts law enforcement a few days behind him. He is armed, we don't want the public to confront him in anyway. He does avoid the public, but we don't want any situations with him.
"We have been doing random patrols as have Sanpete and Sevier counties to see if we can spot him. Right now we have lion hunters, elk hunters, cabin owners, snowmobilers and Christmas tree cutters that will be out in the mountains. We ask them to exercise caution and be on the alert for this wanderer. He has been in Kane, Iron County and up into Summit County. There are some good pictures available of him from a surveillance camera at one of the cabins. We have a lot of people that go into these areas and we really would like to apprehend this man," said Sheriff Funk.
Knapp is 5 feet 11 inches tall, weighs 160 pounds and has blue eyes and red hair typically cut very short.
He has stolen guns from cabins, don't leave firearms in cabins.