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Brant Lake mountain man sentenced

BRANT LAKE The man who lived in the woods near Beaver Pond, surviving by stealing from nearby homes and camps, said he was there to escape being followed.

Alan Como lived off the land and stolen items for about two years, authorities estimate, because he believed someone was following him, and had been for the last 30 years.

Como apparently took to the woods of New Hampshire and upstate New York to escape the person he believed was following him. He made the statement during a pre-sentence investigation but wouldnt explain further. He said that an unnamed person had begun harassing him 30 years ago, following him across the country, and Como took to the woods to escape.

Last week, in a short proceeding before Judge John Hall, Como was sentenced to one and one-third to four years in state prison for a felony charge of criminal mischief. He is suspected in dozens of burglaries in the Brant Lake area in 2005 but wasnt charged for the burglaries because of a lack of evidence.

Como was prosecuted on the criminal mischief charge for cutting trees on private property which he used to make a wooden shelter in which he lived on a mountain ridge near the Pharaoh Lake Wilderness Area. Police think that he stole essentials like blankets, clothing and tarps from area homes, but did not steal any money or valuable items like jewelry or electronics.

He had been arrested and jailed in New Hampshire for a similar burglary spree that ended in 2002, when he was found living in an earth-and-log hut atop a mountain in the central part of the state.

Como lived in the woods for 20 years, including winters, according to the Warren County Sheriffs Department. Police found no public records on Como since 1989, when he had a driver's license in Massachusetts.

With credit for time served, Como will be eligible for parole from prison in January.

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