WASHINGTON (AFP) – A large black bear is behind a series of car break-ins in New Hampshire, US police said, after it was caught red-pawed on home security cameras clambering into a pick-up truck.
Police in the town of Thornton released a video showing the animal loitering by the parked vehicle, before standing up on its hind legs, using its paws to open the door, and then climbing nonchalantly into the driver’s seat.
Officers said they suspect the bear is a serial offender.
“Over the last few weeks, we have taken reports of a bear… getting into vehicles to get food or trash left inside and causing considerable damage,” the force said in a Facebook post.
“We’ve had it where they’ve gotten into vehicles, but not quite like this,” police chief Kenneth Miller told the Boston Globe. “This is unique.”
Chief Miller told local TV station WMUR9 that the bear had damaged the bumper on one vehicle, the truck bed cover on another and the front seat interior of a third vehicle.
Even without the incriminating footage, there were clues that pointed to the furry miscreant – a bear print was discovered at the scene of one ransacking, according to the Boston Globe.
The bear remains at large, with local media saying it has not been causing trouble other than its penchant for rifling through cars.
Thornton police said they have notified New Hampshire Fish and Game, and appealed to the public not to leave out food or rubbish that might tempt the light-pawed thief.