Page last updated at 07:58 GMT, Friday, 20 March 2009

Wood dweller 'thief' foils police

The Tips
There are dozens of miles of paths in the woodland

A man thought to have been living wild in woodland for up to four years is being sought by police.

Police say he is entitled to live how he wants, but they want to question him about several minor thefts of items, such as food from unlocked cars.

Dyfed-Powys officers have come close to catching the 34-year-old several times only for him to disappear.

He lives in woodland on reclaimed coal slagheaps, known locally as The Tips, near Ammanford in Carmarthenshire.

Sgt Charles Gabe of the Ammanford community police team said they had been aware of him living in the woods between Pantyffynnon and Penybanc for some time and he may have been there for as many as four years.

"Unfortunately now and again he appears to have stepped over the line and we suspect he has committed the odd crime," he said.

He said these included the theft of food - usually from unattended open cars.

Police say the man has been living wild in the woods for up to four years

"His name is known to us. He looks quite dishevelled, as you would expect him to look.

"If that's the lifestyle he wants to lead he can do what he likes, as long as he lives within the law.

"If it is one he has drifted into and would like the support of other agencies then we would help."

Sgt Gabe said the man appeared to live largely off the land in makeshift hides.

"He appears to be quite self-sufficient. He is very rarely seen.

"Officers know of him in Ammanford but they have not seen him for a couple of years and that was during the evening. The only recent sightings we've had are from members of the public."

When police have been called to incidents and followed him, he has lost them in the woods.

"There are miles and miles of paths. We had the police helicopter up once but when he enters that area he seems to disappear. He seems to know it very well."

Some locals have dubbed him "the Wolfman" according to the Ammanford Guardian newspaper.

One local man told the BBC Wales News website said he had not seen the man, but said the area of woodland was vast.

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