Bear robs store in Radium Hot Springs, B.C.
Christine Tam , ctvbc.ca
Published Wednesday, September 29, 2010 4:18PM PDT
RCMP responded to a break and enter Monday at the Petro Canada in Radium Hot Springs, B.C. Police were shocked when a surveillance video revealed the suspect to be much furrier than expected.
The surveillance video shows a black bear charging into the store at around 4 a.m. Monday and walking up and down the aisles.
Petro Canada employee Lori Ellingboe told ctvbc.ca that she arrived with police at the scene to find significant damage to the storefront.
"The front door had been smashed and there was glass all over the place. We thought it was a robbery," she said.
Ellingboe said they were confused that the robber hadn't caused more damage to the store.
"Nothing was missing and nothing had been vandalized. But then we saw that it had gone to the bathroom -- left us a little gift," she said. "That was our first sign it was a bear."
Ellingboe said the bear also left a trail of blood as it spent six minutes wandering the store.
"Oddly the bear didn't eat anything. We have a Subway restaurant in here and fresh pizzas -- it's like the best place to break into for a bear," she said.
According to Ellingboe and Columbia Valley RCMP, bears have been a big problem in Radium Hot Springs this year with sightings of several sleeping on porches and getting into garbage.
"This year has been a ridiculous year for bears. I've been aware of four-to-five bears roaming through the town," Ellingboe said.
Staff Sgt. Marko Shehovac told ctvbc.ca that police and conservation officers have their hands full with troublesome bears.
"There are problem bears in Radium. There was a mom and three cubs recently getting into trouble in the area and then this one here who appears to be working independently," he said.
Shehovac said that bears are attracted to garbage that's left out and unattended fruit trees in backyards.
"We try to educate people but they are not getting the message and now bears are getting desperate to the point where they're becoming criminals. It's very dangerous with kids running around," he said.
Unfortunately for the bears, many end up getting killed as a result.
"A conservation officer ended up shooting the mom and the cubs," he said. "They have traps out looking for them and in the past they have tried to relocate the bears but now it's gotten to the point that they just shoot them because it's too dangerous."
Conservation officers are still looking for the furry suspect and believe the bear is still in the area.
Shehovak said a witness spotted a bear Tuesday night pounding on the door of the same Petro Canada.
"We assume it's the same bear," he said. "It's very strange."