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Maine Court Sets $25,000 Bail For ‘North Pond Hermit’

Photo caption:

Photo by Kennebec County Sheriff's Office

Christopher Knight, 47, has been charged with stealing food and other items from a camp in Rome, Maine. Knight's years of living in isolation earned him the nickname of the North Pond Hermit.

Christopher Knight, whose 27 years of living in near-total isolation in Maine's wilderness made him an object of fascination after he was arrested for stealing food and supplies, appeared by video for a court hearing Tuesday, when a Kennebec County judge set his bail at $25,000 cash.

Knight's arrest last week put him in the spotlight, after news spread of his years of living alone in the woods. A stranger offered to pay his $5,000 bail -- an offer he rejected. He also attracted a marriage proposal. Authorities had initially sought to raise his bail to $250,000 as a way, they said, to shield him from attempts to exploit him. The offer to pay his bail had come from out of state.

After his arrest, Knight told police that he had only spoken to one person since 1986, according to The Kennebec Journal. The newspaper reports that Knight's mother, who still lives in their family home in Maine, is making arrangements to see her son. He is believed to have disappeared when he was about 19.

"Authorities have said Knight may have been responsible for as many as 1,000 burglaries during his decades in seclusion," the AP reports, "breaking into cottages for food, cooking gear, sleeping bags, tents and other goods to help him survive. Knight has not formally entered a plea but authorities said he's admitted to a handful of burglaries."

During those years, locals nicknamed Knight the North Pond Hermit. But it seems that he has adapted to life in jail, The Kennebec Journal reports.

"He's smiling, pleasant," the paper quotes District Attorney Maeghan Maloney as saying. "He's a very humble man."

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