Notorious 'Bushman' reported caught in B.C.

RCMP catch fugitive suspected of surviving in the wild by stealing from cabins

After a two-year chase the RCMP believe they have finally caught the "Bushman of Shuswap."

On Sunday night, they arrested John Bjornstrom, who has been on the lam since September 1999.

Residents in the Shuswap Lake region of southern British Columbia have been putting up with having their cabins broken into and their supplies rifled for two years.

In that time, the culprit has become known as the "Bushman."

The Bushman eluded police, foiled their attempts to trap him, taunted them on television, and coming face to face with them once, pepper sprayed them.

Locals aren't impressed with his ability to survive in the wild, eking out a living by breaking into homes and stealing.

"He's not a bushman he's a thief," said Doreen Favel, who's with the Salmon Arm tourism office. "And I believe he liked the notoriety that he was receiving."

Cabin owners say he'd leave notes demanding groceries, supplies, and gasoline or else.

RCMP Sgt. Jim Harrison said capturing their suspect on Sunday night took some careful planning.

"It was a complete surprise to him and obviously it was planned that way," he said.

Bjornstrom, 41, was arrested and charged with extortion and assault. He was armed with a sawed-off shotgun and a handgun when police found him.

He had been on the run for two years, since he escaped from a minimum-security correctional camp near Kamloops.