Updated: Tuesday, 06 Jul 2010, 11:43 AM MDT
Published : Friday, 17 Jul 2009, 8:07 PM MDT
ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - A notorious burglar in the Jemez Springs area known as the "Cookie Bandit" was the central figure in shooting incident which left the bandit and a Sandoval County Deputy dead on Thursday.
No one knows his name and many knew very little about him, but plenty of people knew of him.
Resident Morris Crane learned about the Cookie Bandit after he was called by neighbors to repair busted doors and shattered windows.
“My guess is he's probably in his mid to late 40's,” Crane said.
A guess Crane made only by glancing a picture of the notorious burglar.
Some have said that the single photo tells the bandit's story. Pictured in the photo is a bearded man in drab clothing—the only known image of the burglar.
Most residents in the Jemez Springs area said they never came face to face with him.
At first many said they felt pity for him—a man without a home, living in the woods, stealing to survive.
“We were told he was harmless. That's how he got the name the Cookie Bandit, because he was only taking food and clothing and maybe sometimes alcohol,” Jolynn Maestas said.
Maestas knew the cookie bandit was living in the woods because she stumbled upon one of his campsites while out walking.
“He had a blanket and an old chair, I guess he had been living out there,” Maestas said.
Sandoval County Deputies uncovered at least two more campsites. At each one, they found items he had stolen.
“People were afraid because he was a stranger,” Maestas said.
Residents said he would use an axe to bust through doors, break out windows and carve messages on furniture asking for forgiveness.
It’s a bizarre lifestyle that many couldn’t even find the words to explain.
“Maybe it's his way of life,” Morris said.
While some may call him a mountain man, folks around the Jemez Springs area said he knew enough to cover his tracks.
“This guy's smart enough, he can move around and I don't think we have enough law officers to get in there and stir him out,” Morris said.
The Cookie Bandit’s fingerprints are now on file. Police hope they will match someone in a criminal or military database.