Colorado Cherry Company
The mess left behind by the bear Colorado Cherry Company

A greedy bear broke into a Colorado pie shop and gorged on 24 pies, before grabbing a couple for the road.

The bear also ploughed through bags of cocoa and a bag of sugar at the Colorado Cherry Company in Lyons, Boulder County as he ransacked the place on the night of 13 July.

"He made his way right in, hopped on top of the oven, hopped down and had a little feast," store owner Kristi Lehnert told the Fox 31 TV station in Denver.

Even though the sneaky bear managed to evade detection by entering the bakery through a CCTV black spot, the culprit was easy to finger - thanks to the telltale paw prints he left outside the broken window.

He had previously attempted to enter via the basement door where the pies are baked, but resorted to the window after failing to get through.

"These are paw prints," Lehnert told the TV station, gesturing towards the smudged marks on the door. "I'm assuming he probably stood up and took a look and noticed he couldn't get in through the steel door."

But even though the bear managed to guzzle two dozen pies, he still fancied taking a couple for the road.

He took two with him," Lehnert told Sky News. "He climbed back through the window with two pies and I found the boxes outside."

The bear might have been greedy, but he also had discerning tastes.

"Cherry and apple was his favourite. He passed over the strawberry rhubarb," Lehnart told Fox 31. "Maybe he wasn't feeling like a tart pie, I guess," her daughter Mikeala added.