Man steals van from mortuary, finds body, police said

by: Natalie Dreier, Cox Media Group National Content Desk Updated:

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Scott Davidson/Flickr [CC License 2.0]

RIVERSIDE, Calif. - Police said that a would-be car thief had a shocking surprise when he decided to take a van from a business.

The business was a mortuary and the van contained a body, The Los Angeles Daily News reported.

Police in Riverside, California, said that Bobby Joe Washington, took a van from the funeral home and drove away. 

The mortuary's driver had recently picked up the body and was in the business picking up paperwork. The keys had been left in the van.

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About an hour later, an officer who was investigating the theft of the van was told that a different van had just been stolen. 

Police said that Washington returned to the mortuary to return the first van, body included, and took a different one, according to the Daily News

An employee saw what was happening and tried to stop him, but he was nearly run over.

Police stopped him about 2 1/2 miles away.

Washington was charged with vehicle theft, assault with a deadly weapon and evading an officer. He was not charged with taking the body because he didn't mean to, police said.