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2:51 PM Tue, Dec. 18th

Suspect returns stolen mortuary van after finding body

Mortuary driver left keys inside van

Bobby Joe Washington

Bobby Joe Washington

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (AP) — A man was arrested after police say he stole a van from a Southern California mortuary with a dead body inside, returned it and then stole a different van from the same business.

Riverside Police Officer Ryan Railsback says a mortuary employee was nearly run over as he tried to stop the man as he drove away the second time Sunday.

Railsback says an officer investigating the theft of the first van chased the second van for more than two miles.

The suspect, identified as 24-year-old Bobby Joe Washington, was arrested and will likely face mutliple charges including vehicle theft.

Police said the body had recently been picked up and the driver left his keys inside the van while making a quick stop at the business.

The Riverside Press-Enterprise newspaper reports Monday (http://bit.ly/2lD0O1h ) that stealing a dead body isn't included in Washington's list of potential charges because police believe he didn't mean to steal it.