San Bernardino, CA – A thieving bear near a lake in San Bernardino National Forest got more than just food when it stole a man’s backpack, which contained both food and an iPad.
The bear was captured on video by Jesse Dinkel on Saturday as the man was fishing by himself at the crowded Jenks Lake, reports Fox-8. The bear ran off with the backpack early on in the day but then appeared unafraid as it returned to rummage through another family’s belongings on a picnic table.
Bear encounters aren’t unusual in the area, but the families were disconcerted by how little the bear seemed to care for their presence. Normally, bears tend to stay away from humans, though some state parks in the West Coast states have had bear problems in the past.
Dinkel’s video shows the bear walking up to the family’s picnic table and searching through their belongings while the stunned family slowly walks away and makes noises to distract the massive animal. Dinkel stated of the incident, “It was crazy. He was really not shy.”
The bear grabbed a tupperware of food before walking back into the woods. While park employees came to the shore to investigate, they found no sign of the fuzzy thief, so they did not ask patrons to leave the area. Forest officials added that bear sightings are quite common at Jenk’s Lake, so Saturday’s encounter wasn’t “anything stunning.”
The New York Daily News notes that fellow fishermen and picnickers were teasing the man whose iPad was stolen. Dinkel stated of the bear’s first theft:
“The backpack was by a picnic table, and somebody yelled, ‘Hey, there’s a bear!’ And we turned and saw it running with the backpack in its mouth. The owner was pretty upset. People were giving (the iPad owner) a pretty hard time saying, ‘Good luck explaining that to the insurance company.'”
Dinkel added, “It was wild. I go into the wilderness all the time, but this is the first time I’ve ever seen a bear.” And, despite the fact that the iPad has a tracking device on it, there’s little chance the signal would come through in such a wooded, fairly rural area.