Bears break into Breck-area cars |

Bears break into Breck-area cars

Silver Shekel resident Joanie Naystrick hypothesizes the canteloupe and peaches she transported in her truck attracted the bears that trashed her truck's windows. Naystrick is holding what's left of the rear window she already had replaced.

SUMMIT COUNTY – Bear break-ins were reported near Breckenridge and in the town of Blue River on Thursday.

Silver Shekel neighborhood resident Joanie Maystrick said she woke up Thursday morning to find that the window of the topper on her 1992 Ford Ranger was broken. She hadn’t heard anything in the middle of the night at her house two miles from Breckenridge, she said, and nothing was missing, including a camera, radio and cell phone she left in the truck.

“At first I was upset because I thought someone had broken into my truck,” said Maystrick, a Summit County resident for 17 years. “But when I looked in the truck and under the porch around the house, nothing was missing.”

It turned out a bear had been attracted to the leftover smell of cantaloupe in her truck. Maystrick had bought several fresh melons that day from the Emerald Acres market to give to her parents. The bear did not find the melons because they were inside the house.

“Personally, I can’t stand the smell of cantaloupe, and these three melons were especially aromatic. So I opened the windows to air the truck out overnight,” Maystrick said. “I guess the bear could still smell it and ripped the windows right off my truck.”

Once she found out the vandal was a bear, she said she didn’t mind at all, despite more than $1,200 worth of damage. Paw prints were on the broken topper, which has since had the windows replaced by Dependable Auto Glass in Breckenridge. The bear also dented an unlocked door.

“I told the police I didn’t want the bear to get in trouble, because the wildlife was here first,” Maystrick said. “We’ve seen a mama bear and her three cubs a couple times in this area since spring. But the neighborhood here does a good job of keeping trash inside until right before the garbage truck comes.”

Bears often come into residential and urban areas in the spring and fall, the seasons when they’re the hungriest. Bears have an incredibly strong sense of smell, and sometimes they figure out that cars have food inside and will try to break into them, said Todd Malmsbury, spokesman for the Colorado Division of Wildlife.

Another vehicle break-in was reported on Thursday in Blue River.

A woman reported the rear passenger window of her black Chevy sedan was smashed sometime between 5:30 p.m. Wednesday night and 8 a.m. Thursday morning. Her vehicle was parked in the driveway of her house on Davis Court, south of Breckenridge.

The Blue River woman initially thought the vandalism was committed by a human. However the investigating sheriff’s deputy found bear prints and claw marks surrounding the broken window. A patch of fur was also found near the vehicle, said a sheriff’s report.

The woman noted a lottery ticket was missing from the vehicle, “but beyond that, the bear stole nothing else,” according to the sheriff’s report.

Christine McManus can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 229, or

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

As a Summit Daily News reader, you make our work possible.

Now more than ever, your financial support is critical to help us keep our communities informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having on our residents and businesses. Every contribution, no matter the size, will make a difference.

Your donation will be used exclusively to support quality, local journalism.


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User