December 8, 2022
  • December 8, 2022

Bear breaks into the Clayton hardware store

By on October 8, 2022 0

It’s not uncommon to see black bears in northeast Georgia, but it’s downright rare to see them staring at you from a store window.

That’s what happened to Tiger’s David Griggs on Friday as he drove through Clayton on his way home from work.

While walking down South Main Street around 1 a.m., Griggs saw a bear cross the road ahead of him.

“First he hit the fence next to Reeves Hardware where they are remodeling, then, along the wall, and all of a sudden he jumped out the window!” Griggs told Now Habersham.

When the bear jumped, Griggs did the same, directly on his cellphone camera.

He started taping the bear through the store window. At one point in the video, the bear gets up on a sofa and paws at the window, apparently looking for a way out.

Griggs called 911 to report the savage intruder.

Who needs a bed and porridge? This photo of the sleeping bear was taken by one of the store owners when he opened Reeves Hardware on Friday, October 7, 2022, so MNR rangers could safely release the bear. (photo courtesy of Lewis Reeves III/Reeves Hardware)

“I know it took its toll on the inside,” he says. “All I could think of was all the beautiful furniture and other things that were about to be destroyed. Because the bear didn’t care at all what was broke and what was not. He just wanted to get out of there.

The bear did some damage. In addition to the broken glass where the bear entered, it punched through a picture of a bear that hung on the wall and damaged a few leather chairs, said Sonya Shook, the store’s assistant manager.

Between his misadventures, the bear slept.

In a photo taken by one of the store’s owners, the bear is seen curled up on the ground next to a sleeping fireplace.

The rangers ended up locking the bear in front of the front door and “he ran into the street,” says Shook. She and another store associate, Hannah Bleckley, later joked about the situation in a Facebook Live social media post.

“We had a crazy day today,” Shook says in the video. “The news is true. We had a bear here. It was a real bear. It’s very exciting!”

Shook says this is the first time in Reeves Hardware’s 94-year history that they’ve had a bear in the store.

“An old shop across the street ran a cow through the window years ago,” she tells Now Habersham. But that’s another story for another day.

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