'Get Off My Mountain,' Demands Utah Mountain Man

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If this were a fun-loving cartoon bear breaking into campers' cabins and stealing food, we'd laugh. But it isn't funny when a well-armed and apparently deranged mountain man does it as one is in southwestern Utah. And given the antisocial behavior of this burglar, whom police have many competing theories on the identity of, we only feel safe calling him "deranged" from the comfort of our East Coast homes. 

The Associated Press reports this morning on the scared residents around the state's Zion National Park, offering up quotes like "He's scaring the daylights out of cabin owners, now everyone's packing guns" after more than five years of having their food, alcohol, and guns stolen. The more recent of his "more than two dozen burglaries" involve leaving one home bullet-ridden, another trashed after "defecating ... in a pan on the floor," and in yet another with a note saying "get off my mountain." It's his abandoned camp sites, though, that offer the most troubling details on the man's desperate survivalism:

Edwards said two camps found a few years ago were stocked with 19 guns. One of the camps also had a copy of Jon Krakauer's "Into the Wild," a book about a young man who died after wandering into the Alaskan wilderness to live alone off the land.

Residents probably have their fingers crossed here that he's caught soon.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.