Man Steals Hearse from South L.A. Funeral–with Body Inside

Hearse theft (UPI)

In the old days, the West was plagued by horse thieves. In the 21st century, there are hearse thieves. And in South Park, a part of South Central Los Angeles, a man suspected of being mentally ill saw a hearse idling at the Ebenezer Baptist Church around 11 a.m. Saturday, and promptly climbed in and drove away–casket and all. Witnesses attending the funeral followed the runaway hearse and caught it, whereupon words were exchanged and a tussle ensued, although no one was hurt.

KTLA reports that the alleged hearse-stealer was arrested, and is likely to be charged with auto theft, while the hearse and casket were returned. The thief was being analyzed for mental illness.

The hearse-stealing follows a similar incident almost exactly one month ago in Australia. At the funeral of a lawyer named Seth Richardson on November 29, according to the Sydney Morning Herald, a man jumped into the hearse and took off. Richardson’s brother Tobias chased after the hearse and caught it. When he asked the driver why he had stolen the hearse, the man responded that he needed to go to hospital. The driver was later found to be a victim of dementia.

Photo: File / UPI