10/15/2013 08:42 pm ET Updated Oct 16, 2013

Hungry Bears Accidentally Locking Themselves In Cars, Say Truckee, Calif. Police

Truckee, Calif. just had its own, inverse version of “The Three Bears.”

The Lake Tahoe area town has had three reported incidences of bears locking themselves in cars this past week, Captain Robert Leftwich of the Truckee Police Department told the Huffington Post.

“It's been a very dry season and the food source is scarce, so bears are getting a bit more courageous,” he said. “Bears have so much strength that if they smell something in the car, they can usually get that door open, but when they jump inside it sometimes closes behind them.”

Leftwich said that in two of the incidents, homeowners called the police to report the break-in, and officers were able to clear a path and just open the door. In the third, however, officers couldn’t find the owner of the car and had to break a window to let the bear out.

“At that point, the bears don't want anything,” he said. “They just run right back into the forest.”

In all three incidents, the bears reportedly caused significant damage to the vehicle, but affected car owners said it was part of the package of living near wilderness.

“It’s kind of sad to see your car get trashed like that,” Kaili Sanchez told KTXL Sacramento. “But on the other hand, you live in an area where there are wild animals...It just kind of happens sometimes.”

The U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service warns visitors to bear-inhabited land to never leave food or anything with a scent in their cars, not even in the trunk.



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