SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. (AP) — California authorities have captured four suspects in multiple break-ins at homes around South Lake Tahoe: a mama bear and three of her cubs.
DNA has confirmed the large female black bear and her three little accomplices were responsible for at least 21 instances of property damage since 2022, the state Department of Fish and Wildlife said in a statement.
The mother bear and her babies were “safely immobilized” on Friday, the statement said. The adult female, known to researchers as 64F, will likely be taken to a sprawling wildlife sanctuary near Springfield, Colorado.
Her cubs could end up at a rehabilitation facility in Sonoma County, California, “in hopes they can discontinue the negative behaviors they learned from the show and can be returned to the wild,” the statement said.
64F, who was outfitted with a tracking device earlier this year, is one of three adult bears identified last year as being responsible for 150 incident reports, including property damage, in the lake region straddling Northern California and Nevada.
Originally it was believed that a single, large black bear the public nicknamed “Hank the Tank” had been breaking into homes. Eventually, Fish and Wildlife announced that it was actually three separate bears responsible for the mayhem.