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Black bear suspected in 7-month California crime wave turns out to be 3 bears, DNA shows

Authorities initially said a 500-pound bear, known as Hank the Tank, was responsible for breaking into dozens of homes in South Lake Tahoe.

Hank the Tank has accomplices.

The black bear thought to be responsible for forcefully entering nearly 30 homes and 152 reports of "conflict behavior" in South Lake Tahoe, California, over the past seven months is in fact at least three bears, according to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

"While recent incidents of bears invading homes were originally thought to be a single bear, DNA evidence collected from the most recent incident as well as prior incidents over the past several months prove that at least three bears were responsible for breaking into numerous residences," the agency said Thursday in a statement.

The department originally said that the bear assumed to be one bear was about 500 pounds and "extremely food-habituated and has used its immense size and strength to break in and through front doors and garage doors."

Now, Fish and Wildlife is asking for help from the South Lake Tahoe community so that it can trap, tag and relocate the trio. The department will ask residents for permission to place safe traps.

Officials are urging homeowners to get trash receptacles that won't attract the animals.

"Bears are primarily scent-driven when seeking food," the department said. "Improperly stored human food and trash are likely attracting bears into this neighborhood."