Three bears trapped in cars in Truckee over last two weeks

Three bears -- apparently on the hunt for food -- have become trapped in cars in Truckee, Calif., in the last two weeks, police say.

The most recent case occurred late Sunday night when officers could not find the owners of a car where a bear was trapped. They had to smash in a window to let the animal out, Truckee police told Fox40 in Sacramento.

Another bear found itself stuck in a car last week. It was let out by the car’s owner, police said.

“At one point, the dome light was flashing on and off, the horn was honking,” said Scott Williamson, a neighbor who investigated the commotion and called 911. “The headlights were going on and off.


“Right as I approached the driver’s-side door, the bear head-butted the window, and the window came out about that far,” Williamson continued. “I cannot believe it didn’t break.”

Officers arrived on scene shortly afterward.

“They tried the door handles. They found the bear had actually locked himself in the car.... They ended up breaking the window of the car so the bear could get out,” said Sgt. John Mon Pere of the Truckee Police Department.

It worked, and the bear ran off into the woods. The car, which belongs to Kaili Sanchez and Craig Strom, was damaged, the TV station reported. They were asleep while the whole ordeal was going on in front of their home.


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

Experts say bears know how to open unlocked car doors, so it’s best to lock cars and not leave anything “smelly” inside.


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