A bear makes its way back toward the Angeles National Forest in April after spending most of the night dining on chickens in the backyard of a home on Bonita Vista Drive. (Photo courtesy of John Peterson)

Several Briggs Terrace residents were frightened Tuesday after a black bear dug into their trash cans in search of a late-night snack, officials said.

Residents notified sheriff’s deputies of the wandering bear about 10 p.m. after it was knocking down their trash cans and scouring for food, said Deputy Steve Toly of the Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Station. The large bear terrified residents, he added.

“He was confident,” Toly said.

Deputies warned residents to stay indoors and retrieve their pets during the bear’s outing, he said.

They maintained a spotlight on the bear for two to three hours as it went through the trash cans and eventually returned to the mountains, Toly said.