Skip to content

Elphinstone Chronicles: Local bear car break-ins on the rise

Keep cars free of food-related items and locked as bears have been finding their way into vehicles
C. Bear in car_tweaked
Vehicle damage from a bear break-in in Elphinstone.

Elphinstone bears want to take your car for a ride. Have I got your attention? There has been a recent rash of car break-ins in Area E, and not by the usual suspects. Our local black bears are finding reasons to try out the opposable thumb thing and open car doors. Several people I’ve talked to specifically in Elphinstone have had their cars entered by a bear. Local Elphinstone residents Deanna and Dave from Secret Beach B&B Suites woke up one morning last week to find their car interior was destroyed, although the bear made an exit before they woke and kindly shut the door behind itself. A complete write off. An adjuster from ICBC told the couple it was his 22nd investigation into a vehicle break-in by a bear this season alone. Deanna was empathetic though, explaining “they’re extra hungry, the salmonberries are late this year” and that it seemed like a traumatizing experience for the bear.  

Residents can prevent curious creatures from breaking in by keeping their car doors and windows locked since they have not figured out how to pick locks yet. I know we know not to leave food in our cars, but it goes further: pet food, food containers, candy wrappers, beverage cups, gardening soil with fertilizers, and even car air fresheners can invite our local bears to come knocking. I am guilty of leaving my recycling in the car overnight so I can take it to the depot early, but no more! With the frequency of these B&E’s increasing, it is a gamble I can’t take. 

Nothing says summertime like chatting about bears at a potluck during a heatwave. The Elphinstone Community Association (ECA) held their annual summer social last Saturday down in Bonniebrook’s Chaster House, and what a gorgeous day for it. The party was buzzing because it has been a minute since we have gotten together in person. Rod Moorcroft presented the first ever lifetime membership award plaques to three committed ECA members: Tony and Marilyn Richmond, and Vel Anderson. All three volunteered many hours to the board and advocated tirelessly for the district of Elphinstone. In accepting his plaque, Tony said that the ECA “punches above its weight” and he encouraged everyone to keep on representing the community and holding the SCRD accountable. We shared some laughs, some gossip and some fresh cherry tomatoes at the gathering, which is a top-notch afternoon in my books. Did you know there is an Elphinstone Community Association Facebook page? Join your neighbours, spark dialogue and see what’s happening on their ECA community page.