The first thing I learned is that they don't care about lights being on. You can make noise and they won't go away or even startle. They just look at you and keep working. They're good at deflecting human aggression – I swear, they adopt a submissive posture, and gaze at you knowing how cute and pitiful they can appear. Then comes the nonchalance. Two of them decided to walk up to the door that I was behind, and stand/lean up to get a closer look at the silly human (i.e., your truly). Bored, they went back to the garbage, while another relaxed under our vehicle in the driveway.
Now, I did want to get out there to clean up the mess, which was rather small since they'd only been at the buffet for a few minutes, but since raccoons can carry rabies (and even West Nile, I think), I shooed them away by throwing water at them. Even then, getting away seemed to be one of their lower priorities. That's not surprising, given the bulk they have to move around – they seem to be twice the size of their wild cousins. And as long as the suburbs provide a moveable feast, those bandits will stay that way.
By the way, it's actually a newer garbage can that these critters can open – I think they've learned that any can is easier to pry open once it's horizontal and they can get some leverage for those deft little paws. So tightening the top with a short bungie cord won't completely do the trick. O wants to get one of those Rubbermaid “hutches” for garbage cans, and now I'm inclined to agree. A man works hard for his filth, and nothing is going to take it from me !