Remember this incident- the hiker/thief re-named "Saved" first reported on WhiteBlaze by Miss Janet? The Washington Post Sunday magazine coming out day after tomorrow features a long article about it. I'll post the link as soon as it's available on-line. The article itself is too long to cut-and-paste. If for some reason the link doesn't post, log in to http://www.washingtonpost.com on Sunday the 20th and navigate to "Post Magazine" Access to the Post's website is free.
From Miss Janet's original post:
"It is with a certain amount of anger and saddness that I feel that I have to start letting the AT community know about a situation. I am angry because the authorities can't seem to catch this guy!! I am angry and saddened that one "hiker" can cause so much trouble to the AT community. It is a constant effort to educate our communities about who hikers are and why they should be welcome in our towns. Then, in just a few days, I am afraid that this "hiker" has hurt the effort to promote hikers as more than homeless vagrants and thieves. (I am thinking of all kinds of new uses for Duck Tape right now!!) I have double checked these details and I believe these to be mostly accurate.
Several weeks ago a hiker that was going by the name of "SAVED" was hiking southbound in PA and stole a girls food bag and some other items. He was later confronted by other hikers and forced to make restitution to this hiker. SAVED left hiking south.
A couple of weeks later a man wearing hiking gear broke into a home in Wintergreen where he traded his stuff for nice, newer, hiking gear...
( Wingfoot sent service providers a list of the gear that was stolen and a description of the man) He cooked himself some food, resupplied himself, stole a car and drove away. The car was later found near Bland, Va. A decription of the man seen in the area was put out by the Wintergreen police. Hikers identified him as SAVED. These hikers were able to give a very detailed description to the police:
Late 20's - Early 30's, 5'10. 160 pounds, very dark hair cut short and a black beard.
He is from Rhode Island and has a distinct accent.
He has numerous "Celtic or Japanesee type" tribal tattoos on his neck, shoulders, arms and legs. At one time he was carrying an ornamental machette. He is still believed to be carrying a bayonette.
Hikers have reported him as being very "friendly and nice" and he seems to have been well liked by some people. This may explain partly why he has not been caught.
For the last couple of weeks Southbound Thruhikers have seen SAVED many times and reported his whereabouts to the police. Despite several middle of the night raids on shelters in Southern Va by police with flashlights... they did not catch him. At one time a hiker told the police where and when SAVED would be at a road crossing. The hiker later saw Saved right there, when he said he would be there, but there were no police.
SoBo's have reported seeing him recently in both Catawba and Pearisburg. He is suspected of stealing a car ?? in Southwest, Va a few days ago. This car was found at Indian Grave Gap here in Unicoi County two nights ago. Yesterday a red, Nissan Pathfinder was stolen 9 miles south on the AT near the Nolichucky river. Police are still looking for SAVED and request that any information be directed to the Unicoi County Sheriffs Department.
Last night at 11"O clock on our TriCity wide local news the opening Headline was "APPALACHIAN TRAIL THIEF!". Within minutes I was receiving phone calls! The local radio station ran the story this morning as well as the local paper. More phone calls! This "thief" seems to have no concept of right and wrong and no respect for other people's things or the AT. I am afraid that this has already hurt the AT community... in the eyes of many in this area and I hope he will be picked up soon before he causes more damage. No one seems to think he is "dangerous" but he is certainly hurting every single one of us in the long run!"
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