Bear ransacks refrigerator for taco meat in California home as teens hide, video shows

Watching TV on Saturday night, two 15-year-olds got a shock when they heard some strange noises coming from the kitchen of their California vacation home, KCRA reported.

“I said, ‘My mom would not be aggressively opening up Tupperware at 12:30 in the morning,’” Hayes Sherman said, according to the station.

A 250-pound bear had entered the Truckee home near Lake Tahoe through an unlocked garage door and ransacked the refrigerator for taco meat and ice cream, KOVR reported.

A security video shows the bear rummaging through the refrigerator, then carrying its ill-gotten gains to the living room and down a hallway.

The bear then heads toward the television room where Hayes and friend Bobby Harden had been hanging out, the video shows.

“It looked us both in the eyes and it started coming towards us,” Hayes said, KCRA reported. “And that was one of the scariest moments, coming face to face with the bear.”

The bear tried to break into the room as the teens called 911 for help, KXTV reported..

“We felt a shake on the door while we were holding it,” Bobby said, KCRA reported. “This was crazy cause it didn’t lock, and so we had to hold the door while the bear was trying to break it down.”

Hayes called a warning up to his mother on the home’s second story, KCRA reported. “I said, ‘Mom, do not come downstairs. There is a bear in our house,’” he said.

911 dispatchers suggested that Hayes make some noise to scare the bear away, KOVR reported.

“I told them, ‘I am not yelling and shouting at a seven-foot large bear. Does that make sense?’” Hayes said, according to the station.

A Placer County sheriff’s deputy arrived shortly afterward and opened a door to let the bear out, KXTV reported.

The security video shows the door opening and the bear exiting as the deputy urges it to come outside.

The deputy then shot the bear with a non-lethal “bear pellet” to shoo it away when it seemed inclined to hang around, KXTV reported.

“I’m very, very proud, they were calm, they did the right thing, it was a scary situation, but the boys did very well,” said Suan Mohum, Hayes’ mom, KOVR reported. She says the family will be bear-proofing the home.

Sheriff’s officials warned residents to keep vehicle and house doors locked, and not to leave out food or store it in vehicles, according to the station.

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Don Sweeney has been a newspaper reporter and editor in California for more than 25 years. He has been a real-time reporter based at The Sacramento Bee since 2016.