Glendale authorities were on the lookout Wednesday for a bear that was found sitting next to an open refrigerator in a resident's garage in the early morning hours.

A man who lives in the 3700 block of Beechglen Drive heard noises around 3 a.m. and got up to investigate, city spokeswoman Vicki Gardner said. He discovered the animal, which had entered the garage through an outside door that had been left open.

The bear was next to the refrigerator and the refrigerator door was open.     

"The bear and the resident made eye contact and the resident went back inside and locked his door," Gardner said. "He called the police and then heard the bear depart. The police arrived in time to see the bear leaving the backyard and leap over the fence."

The resident was not identified.

Gardner said the city has received reports that a bear had gotten into outdoor trash cans. Officials alerted the L.A. County Fish and Game Commission and the Pasadena Humane Society. Because the bear is described as "quite large," Gardner said Fish and Game would handle the case if the bear were to be located.

She said it was possible that the bear wandered back into the nearby Verdugo Mountains. But she warned residents against leaving food out in the open. The city is urging anyone who spots the bear to call Sgt. Traci Fox of the Glendale Police Department at (818) 550-6569.

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-- Matt Stevens, Los Angeles Times

Twitter: @mattstevenslat