The McCarthy clan were holidaying at their Sierra Nevada cabin this summer when the animal broke into their Toyota Prius parked on the property's driveway.
According to the Contra Costa Times, the bear became enraged after getting stuck inside and went about destroying parts of the car - including the gearbox, which shifted the vehicle into neutral.
The Prius then rolled down the driveway, crossed the street, flew over a small wall and eventually came to a stop outside a neighbour's house.
"The car was completely closed," head of the family Brian McCarthy said. "There wasn't any food in there. The only things in there were a beach towel, some CDs and a few phone chargers."
Lieutenant David Stevenson of the South Lake Tahoe Police Department added: "Normally, you'll get reports of the dumpster-divers and trash-divers, but bears breaking into cars is different."
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