They've named him 'Peanut Pete' and he's a black bear peanut thief. His escapades near Jamesville have now been caught on camera.
Last Sunday morning, Chris and Sharon Smith arrived at work at Mackeys Ferry Peanuts and found a pile of chew up peanut shells around a basket on the front porch of their store, and chewed hulls in the parking lot. At first they thought they had a bothersome raccoon or possum, but once they saw bear tracks in the lot they knew they had to check the security camera.
Sure enough, between 2:00 a.m. and 3 a.m. the bear was recorded, helping himself to the basket of green raw peanuts on the porch. At first the bear was cautious and would only stay at the basket for a moment or two, but then he settled in and sat down in front of the basket for a full meal.
Ironically, several years ago the store used a black bear who stole their peanuts in an ad campaign. Once again, life imitates art.