CONCORD, N.C. -- Concord police found themselves tracking down an unusual suspect Saturday morning, but they were more than happy to let it get away.
A young black bear found its way up the Harold McEachern Greenway near downtown Concord, across some neighborhoods near Union and Spring streets, and down the railroad tracks to Central Cabarrus High School.
Neighbors gawked and took pictures while police were hot on its trail.
"He was sauntering across the road minding his own business but he kept right on going," said Connie Bauman, who watch the bear cross a neighborhood street near her home.
"I came home and told my husband and he said, 'Are you sure?' and I said, 'Yeah, I'm sure I saw a bear'," she recalled.
Capt. Robert Ledwell of Concord Police first learned about the bear Saturday morning when officers texted him. He thought it was another autocorrect gone bad.
"I've seen fox, I've seen deer, I've even heard of bobcats and coyotes," he said, "but I've never heard of a bear."
Police reverse-called several thousand residents to warn them about the bear, but no one got in its way.
Capt. Ledwell said the bear never acted aggressive, but just kept moving. He advises anyone who sees it to do the same.
"I definitely wouldn't approach it," he said. "I wouldn't treat it as a pet."
The bear's trail grew cold after it crossed Highway 49 and into the woods of Cabarrus County.
Connie Bauman just hopes it finds a place that's, well... just right.
"I wish they would tranquilize him and take him back somewhere he belongs," she said hopefully.