A thief stole a hearse with a body inside from a church – before later crashing as police chased him on the highway.
The black Lincoln Navigator was taken from outside Saint Anthony Greek Orthodox Church in East Pasadena, Los Angeles, on Wednesday night.
The vehicle was reportedly stolen while a mortuary worker was taking another body into the church.
Police appealed on social media for the thief to return the body.
“Out of all the bad decisions you have made, at least make one good one & bring back the deceased person & casket inside the Navigator,” LA Sheriff’s Department tweeted.
The SUV hearse was spotted and followed by a witness on Thursday morning, with police pursuing the vehicle until it crashed at around 7.45am. Authorities said at least one officer was involved in the crash.
The 110 highway was closed for the morning rush hour and TV pictures showed heavy damage to the front of the hearse.
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To the suspect(s) driving around in a Black Lincoln Navigator stolen from the 700 blk of Rosemead Bl just after 8PM today in uninc #Pasadena:
Out of all the bad decisions you have made, at least make one good one & bring back the deceased person & casket inside the Navigator. pic.twitter.com/Dvo7u94zL1
— LA County Sheriffs (@LASDHQ) February 27, 2020
Police said no one was seriously injured – and luckily the body was undisturbed in its casket.
A man was arrested but his identity was not immediately made public. The mortuary involved has also not been named.
“Huge THANK YOU to the good samaritan that called law enforcement when they saw the stolen vehicle,” police tweeted afterwards.
“We also want to send condolences to the family members of the deceased person, who had to deal with this tragedy.