Bear On A Tear Gets Stuck In Car In Canton, Destroys Interior

With her cellphone in hand, Linda Morad stood alone in the dark Friday outside her friends’ house in North Canton, trying to figure out what caused her vehicle’s headlights, fog lights, horn and alarm to turn on and off.

She heard someone moving around in the vehicle and ran into the house, dialing 911.

But the sound was not a burglar. A bear in search of food had managed to open the door of her car. The animal couldn’t get out and panicked, tearing up the inside of the 2015 Subaru Outback. After taking a few photos with the bear still inside, a police sergeant opened one of the doors of the vehicle and the bear scampered away.

No one was injured, but the vehicle’s interior was wrecked. The bear tore into the dashboard and ceiling and pulled out dome lights, wiring, a door panel and more.


“We’re guessing he used his paw to open the door,” Police Capt. Lawrence Terra said. “It looked like he was terrified, by the condition of the car.”

In his six years in Canton, Terra’s heard of plenty of bear encounters — bears in yards, crossing roads, in a garage — but never heard of a bear being trapped inside a car, he said.

Mosen Morad, Linda’s husband, said the Torrington couple is going to have to buy a new vehicle. They’ll be out some money, though, because insurance won’t cover everything, and he said, “You can’t sue the bear.”

The bear’s tear Friday night occurred while Linda Morad was dog-sitting at her friends’ house on Andrew Drive in Canton, a little more than a mile from the McLean Game Refuge, a 4,400-acre nature preserve. She was alone in the house except for the two dogs, he said, both of which were “sleeping like a bear.”


About 9:30 p.m., Linda Morad said, she noticed while near a window that her Subaru’s headlights were on. The vehicle was parked in the driveway.

She thought that was strange, she said, “so I watched it for two minutes.”

Next thing she knew, the horn beeped and the alarm blared. Morad said she figured there could be a problem with the fob, but she wasn’t sure. So she ventured outside, setting up her cellphone so she would be able to call 911 with the push of a single button.

Standing some 20 feet from the vehicle in the inky blackness, she tried to see into the vehicle but couldn’t. Then she heard something moving in the vehicle. Thinking of stories about burglars who draw homeowners out of their houses by distracting them, she ran inside while calling police.

When Sgt. Tyson Deloy and Officer Mark Montefalco arrived, they saw a bear in the vehicle’s front seat and thought, “How are we going to do this?“ Terra said.

“They came up with a quick plan,” the captain said. “This is not something you train for.”

Deloy decided to open up a vehicle door, positioning himself behind it for protection, while Montefalco stood, gun drawn, closer to the house to give the bear a wide berth. The bear jumped out and returned to the woods.

Chris Collibee, a spokesman for the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, said it’s not unusual for bears to break into cars.


“Sometimes they will break a window or windshield,” he said. Other times they will pry the door open, or if they get lucky, they will be able to open the door handle.

“Most likely the bear was attracted by some sort of food scent” in or near the vehicle, he said.

Linda Morad said she had brought garbage to the dump earlier in the day, but none was in the vehicle Friday night.

The only food in the Subaru was a banana, she said — and the bear didn’t eat it.