By Matt Kroschel

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, Colo. (CBS4) – Wildlife officials are warning people living around Steamboat Springs of a four-pawed car break-in suspect on the run.

Wildlife officials believe a black bear is breaking into cars in the mountain town, prompting a warning to residents to lock their doors and keep their windows closed. One night this week eight separate cars were hit.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

But by far the most damage was done inside a Subaru when the bear somehow got inside and got locked in the car for nearly an hour.

Steamboat Springs resident Jessica Scroble said she still has to figure out what to do about her totaled car after the bear destroyed the interior.

She said she was letting her dogs out on Tuesday night when she heard something in her usually quiet Christie Drive neighborhood.

“My heart sank, I just knew it was a bear,” Scroble told CBS4.

Police had to pull open the door to let the bear get out. It tore off the door panels, stripped electrical wiring and left bear poop in the vehicle.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

Scroble said she had talked with a wildlife officer only a week before about the importance of locking car doors to prevent such situations.

“Lesson learned on my part,” she said.

Scroble works at the local animal shelter and runs a dog walking business. She says her love of animals and the local wildlife hasn’t changed after the experience.

“It’s one of those things,” she said. “We’ll try to move on and do what we can.”

Matt Kroschel covers news throughout Colorado working from the CBS4 Mountain Newsroom. Send story ideas to mrkroschel@cbs.com and connect with him on Twitter @Matt_Kroschel.

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