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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This summer my area has seen an alarming increase in home invasions and car break ins. The perpetrators cause incredible damage.

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There are many instances where both parents and their offspring participate in the destruction. They roam around like they own the place, can't be reasoned with and authorities act like they are helpless to mitigate the situation. We're on our own.

Here's what we're up against:

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We have black bears - not big grizzlies. This summer my neighbors have had two home invasions and a half-dozen car breakins. A honda had it's door torn off. An SUV windowframe was bent 90 degrees. I have muddy paw prints on the sides of my van once or twice per week.

Here's what we're doing to reduce the chance of van breakins, ordered by my guess as to effectiveness:
  • lock the doors always
  • never leave the window cracked open, so they can't get leverage with claw to pull the window out
  • always keep window shades on, so they can't see what's inside
  • never eat in the van, nor transport take-out food
  • all food and coolers removed
  • wipe down the interior frequently with ArmorAll Cleaner Wipes
  • leave a zip-lock with a sponge soaked in pine-sol - an odor deterrent
  • home security cameras with phone alerts
  • tools at the ready to chase and harass: air horn, bear spray, pellet gun, rocks
I've seen many breakins to small cars, but none yet to big vans. My theory is that Transit Vans are a hard target for black bears, because:
  • they cannot easily get on top of the van and use their body weight to break thru the windsheild
  • they cannot reach the top of the doors to insert claws and pull the locked door open with their body weight
  • transit doors are stronger and stiffer than the thin window frames of many small cars
  • it's harder for the bear to see inside the van
I'm curious if any of you know of a Van that has been broken into. Also: what measures do you take to bear-proof your vehicle?
 

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Regional problem....where?
 

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I'm curious if any of you know of a Van that has been broken into. Also: what measures do you take to bear-proof your vehicle?
Bear-proof? Short of active countermeasures like bear spray that sprays out from under the van, or an electric fence that surrounds it (there's a guy in Tahoe doing a good business selling electrified window/door coverings Bear Proof Your Cabin, Keep Bears Wild - Tahoe Bear Busters), you don't bear-proof your vehicle.

Don't leave anything smelly inside the van, and if you do, don't park anywhere that there won't be people walking around that would actively discourage the bear.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Bear-proof?
My bad - should have used a phrase like "bear-harden" or some such to indicate improved but not perfect security.

The electric fence idea is interesting for home-perimeter security. I know a guy who does this and has had good (perfect!) results so far.
 

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My bad - should have used a phrase like "bear-harden" or some such to indicate improved but not perfect security.
I would be concerned the "harder" it is, the more damage will be done to the exterior before the bear gives up.

My father in law had his fiberglass truck topper destroyed by a bear in Yosemite. His lesson learned was to sleep in the back of the truck the next time he visited, rather than put his food in a bear locker. :ROFLMAO:

When I got the Transit I Googled for vans peeled open like a tin can but was surprised not to find any, but I've got to believe they're being broken into as much as cars.

I'd wondered if there were any hunting scents you could leave out that wouldn't be obnoxious smelling to people but mask picnic basket smells to a bear.
 

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What state you in? Black bears are returning to my state but haven't heard anything about car break ins. Our problem is the human population they now carry guns while breaking in your car or home. Much the same brazen and complete disregard for the authorities.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I would be concerned the "harder" it is, the more damage will be done to the exterior before the bear gives up.
I've seen that theory, and know that some people keep their cars unlocked for just this reason. Not me.

When I got the Transit I Googled for vans peeled open like a tin can but was surprised not to find any, but I've got to believe they're being broken into as much as cars.
I haven't found any stories of Transit randsackings either. Plenty of minivans - here is one - but not full-sized vans. Not sure why.
 

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I was watching an Alaskan family on TV. The father there put urine around the perimeter of his small farm. Says the bear thinks another bear has marked the territory and won't go in as readily.
But when camping other campers might take offense at this though.:LOL:
 

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There are many instances where both parents and their offspring participate in the destruction. They roam around like they own the place, can't be reasoned with and authorities act like they are helpless to mitigate the situation. We're on our own.
They're so inconsiderate... almost animal-like... :whistle:
 

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Conditioned bears are always the biggest problem bears. Lots of bear fences used in the backcountry so it would be easy to set one up in the driveway or out camping. Not so much at the trailhead. If I lived somewhere that bears are allowed to scavenge around the neighborhood I'd get a good dog. Shepherd or even better a Karilion bear dog.
 
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If you think that the problem is bad now, just wait until the wolves move in further south.

I saw first hand how they kill off a lot of the natural food that bears eat and then things start really going downhill fast.

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In the SF bay area, there has been some reduction in car break ins. People put a sign on the car that it is unlocked and leave the windows down, in hopes of reducing window breakage.

Windows are in short supply and since this isn't revenue producing, it doesn't get a lot of attention.
 
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Quick Batman, off to the batcave with andyl and to race away in our Batversion Transit, from the horibilis threats. Hope we have cleaned the porta potty before departure as poop happens...
 

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Doing airplane accident investigations can be interesting because the bears are drawn by the smell of fresh blood. I'd typically whistle or just jabber loudly while walking through the brush and regularly hear big things move away.

Alaska - Very fresh Griz dropping bigger than my boot

Never had to use it but the shotguns were part of the gear.

Me on left

 
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