LA CRESCENTA (CBS) — Residents of La Crescenta are on alert after several late night visits from a hungry bear.
Joey Ball woke up the other night after hearing noises in his garage. He was startled at 3 a.m. to find a huge black bear casually munching on a bag of Costco meatballs.
Ball says, “He had the bag and he had food all over his face and I remember seeing them in his hand. That’s when I slammed the door really quick.”
The 250-pound bear had rifled through some drawers and sifted through the garbage but once he got the fridge open, he only had eyes for the meatballs. After police scared the bear off, he apparently came back for another nibble.
The next morning, Ball found fresh evidence the bear returned. “There were these wet paw prints from where he was pushing on the door trying to get back in.”
Residents have been on bear watch ever since.
The next night, the bear returned to an orange tree and made himself at home. Resident Laura White tried to turn on the lights to scare the bear away. “He just went over to the orange tree and peeled the oranges and started eating them. He looked over at us, but he kept eating the oranges.”
Officials with California Fish & Game believe the bear came down from the Verdugo mountains.
Authorities are asking residents to not leave food out and to lock garbage cans.
Resident Audrey Malmose is worried, but not as much about her safety. “I worry about our safety, of course. But I’m worried about my cat. And I’d hate to see the bear get hurt.”
White agrees. “I don’t want them to hurt it. He’s just getting food.”