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CEDAR CITY -- After years of searching and dead leads, police believe they have positively identified a reclusive burglar responsible for dozens of burglaries among the luxury cabins in the mountains near Cedar City.
The Kane and Iron County sheriff's offices say the man is Troy James Knapp, 44.
"This positive identification of this suspect is the result of good old fashioned investigative work along with tips provided by the public," the agencies said in a statement. "We have followed up on hundreds of leads before finally identifying this suspect."
An arrest warrant has been issued for Knapp, and he has been charged with two counts of burglary, a count of aggravated burglary and one count of possession of a firearm by a restricted person.
Knapp is sought for burglarizing cabins over a 1,000 square mile area of rugged wilderness, and vandalizing the homes after taking supplies and living off of what he found there. While there have been no direct confrontations with the man, police consider him armed and very dangerous, with detectives telling the Associated Press that he is a time bomb.
He has left bullet holes and threatening messages in the vandalized cabins, telling the owners, "Get off my mountain," in notes. He has even defaced religious icons in the cabins.
Only one person claims to have met the man, later identified as Knapp, and said that he was very stand-offish and wanted to "disengage."
Speculation about his identity has ranged from a Mormon fundamentalist to a fugitive armored car robbery named Jason Derek Brown. There was also speculation that the burglar was Robert William Fisher, a survivalist from Scotsdale, Ariz. who killed his family and blew up their house.
Police have described Knapp as dangerous and have told people who may come in contact with him not to speak to him and to call the police. Anyone with information about the whereabouts of Knapp should call the Kane County Sheriff's office at 435-644-2349 or the Iron County Sheriff's Office 435-867-7550.