'Co-ordinated bearglury': Bears break into Coquitlam family's car and garage, eat crumbs under car seat
When Sean McQuillan and his family woke up to a large mess in their front yard on Thursday morning, they wondered what was going on.
He looked at his phone and saw several messages from his neighbourhood WhatsApp group, and several missed calls from the police.
Eventually, the family would learn that around 3 a.m. that morning, two bears had broken into the car in their driveway and somehow managed to open the garage door.
“My son here was probably playing with the keys and left it unlocked by accident,” McQuillan said.
The family slept through the entire ordeal, even when RCMP vehicles pulled up at their house.
“I’m just shocked that we slept through it with a baby and a toddler and two dogs,” said Heather McQuillan. “It was quite a commotion out here.”
The father of two explained that the bears opened a number of the car doors appearing to look for food.
“They had lifted up the car seat in the middle and ripped it and shredded it to try and get at the little crumbs that he left underneath, that I had no idea were even there,” he said.
There are also a number of rips inside the car, on the driver’s and back seats. But what surprised him is that the bears managed to lift the garage door.
“This was a co=ordinated bearglury,” said McQuillan.
The weather stripping has been ripped off the bottom of the garage door, but the dozens of antique lamps that they rented out for movie productions, were spared. However, the garbage, that’s stored at the back of the garage, had been rifled through.
“They didn’t break anything but they did find the garbage,” he said.
Conservation officers told CTV News it’s likely that whatever attracted the bears to their neighbourhood, probably wasn’t coming from the family’s house since they hadn’t left any food out.
However, they are reminding everyone to secure garbage so bears can’t get into it and to make sure nothing else is left lying around outside that might attract them.
The parents told CTV News they will have to replace their two and a half year old son’s car seat.
This is the second bear interaction the family has had in 10 days. Just over a week ago, Heather told CTV News she came face to face with a mother and her cub.
“We were leaving, I had the kids in tow, car seat in my arm, and I open my door and I came within 2 or 3 feet there is a mom bear and her cub right there,” she said.
“I just closed the door, locked it and took a moment.”
From living in Coquitlam, the family knows that bear sightings are common.
“We respect the fact that we’re kind of in the bears’ … home and we definitely don’t want bears to be terminated or anything like that,” Heather said.
As for the two bears in this case, they were gone by the time police arrived.
“I wouldn’t want anything to happen to the bears obviously we’re in their neighbourhood as much as anything else,” said McQuillan, “I hope they find some other food so they don’t keep coming back.”