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Bear Rips Through Screen, Enters Home's Basement

By Melissa Garcia

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – Neighbors in the mountain town of Pine are taking extra precautions after a bear broke into the basement of a home.

bear (1)
(credit: CBS)

It happened just before noon on Sunday, and by the time deputies arrived the bear had wandered back into the woods. Officers with the Colorado Department of Parks and Wildlife say the 2 to 3 year-old, 150-pound animal ripped through a screen.

Bears across Colorado are out of hibernation.

Just across the street from the bear break-in on Parker Avenue in Pine, Joe and Brenda Heintzman said they were seeing lot of bear activity.

"At least three times a week there's a bear trying to get into our trash," Joe told CBS4's Melissa Garcia.

bear (2)
(credit: CBS)

A trash that is strapped shut and a motion sensor chime are just two of the steps the Heintzmans take to keep bears away.

"We are up all night long with the bears," Brenda said. "Each time the chime goes off, we open the window or the door and we holler at the bears to leave."

Surveillance video shows bears walking outside of the home on multiple occasions, apparently sniffing for food.

bear (3)
(credit: Joe and Brenda Heintzman)
bear (4)
(credit: Joe and Brenda Heintzman)

"The bear turned around, looked at me and started charging," said Joe, of his latest encounter last week.

He believes the bear he saw then may be the same bear that broke into his neighbors' home Sunday.

A CPW officer set out a trap in case the bear returns. A spokesperson for the department said if it does return, the bear will be relocated.

As bear season continues through mid-November, officials ask that residents keep doors, windows and trash locked up.

LINK: Colorado Parks & Wildlife "Be Bear Aware" Website

Melissa Garcia has been reporting for CBS4 News since March 2014. Find her bio here, follow her on Twitter @MelissaGarciaTV, or send your story idea to mkgarcia@cbs.com.

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