A sweet-toothed black bear has been captured on a surveillance video "stuffing himself silly" during a nighttime break-in at the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory in Estes Park.
A YouTube video (below) shows the young bear acting like he owned the candy shop, pulling open the store's glass front door with his claws and propping open the door with a back paw as he ambles in to gobble sweets.
EstesParkNews.com reports that owner Jo Adams was mystified last week when she opened the shop to find a candy tin and one cellophane wrapper on the floor and a bit of dirt on top of her checkout counter.
"Jo thought a pesky ground squirrel had gotten into the store and upset a few things," Estes Park News Editor/Owner Kris Hazelton told 7NEWS in an email.
Adams checked her new video surveillance system and spotted a "shadowy figure" in the darkened shop that rose up next by the front counter, Hazelton said.
"We ran our surveillance tapes and it was a bear," Adams told the newspaper.
The bear meanders around the shop, grabs mouthfuls of candy from the display rack near the counter, and then walks outside to eat on the sidewalk, Hazelton said. As soon as he's finished, he comes back in for another mouthful only to take it back outside, chomp it down and come back for more.
During his sugar-fest, the bruin made seven trips outside to chow down candy in 20 minutes.
He "had a heyday stuffing himself silly full of chocolate treats," Hazelton said.
"At one point, he came back in and placed his paws on the glass candy display case, gazing in at the candy, leaving nothing but footprints, doing no damage at all," Hazelton said.
"Jo was amazed at how gentle and polite this bear was. Not one thing was damaged in the entire store when he left 20 minutes later, certainly on a sugar high!" Hazelton said.
The bear break-in has been a surprising windfall for Adams' business.
As word spreads through town, as many as five customers a day come in to order "the exact same things the bear ate," Hazelton said. Adams has had to place extra orders to keep up with demand.
The bears favorite sweets were chocolate covered Rice Krispies Treats, peanut butter cups, the store's special "Balls of Joy" candy, English Toffee and -- unsurprisingly -- giant chocolate covered "Cookie Bear" cookies.
Adams has fixed a broken door latch that allowed the bear easy access to the shop.
Link to http://www.EstesParkNews.com Link
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