I used to think raccoons were cute - till I bought a house in suburban Philly. The previous owners had a box built to house the trash cans. It was a PITA - because you had to lift the trash cans in/out of the top of the box. I asked about it before closing... they said it was the ONLY way to keep the raccoons out of the trash. Over the years I lived there I observed most of the neighbors had similar boxes.... and those that didn't often had trash strewn across their yard regularly.
My next door neighbor had a gas grill on his deck. He had a very aggressive raccoon try to scare him away from the grill and steaks he was cooking. He didn't budge and the raccoon kept getting closer and closer and hissing at him. He finally got it to go away with a full blast hose.
I no longer look at them as "cute".... except in pictures or other people's yards.
Retired June 2014. No longer an enginerd - now I'm just a nerd.