Police: Man returns stolen vehicle after finding a dead body in the back

Police in Riverside, California arrested a man they say stole two vans from an area mortuary, reports the Los Angeles Times.

According to the authorities, the first one was returned after the alleged thief spotted a dead body in the back.

The situation began to unfold in the early hours of Sunday.

A mortuary employee had just picked up the deceased and left the van – keys and all – in front of the business while he ran inside to grab some paperwork, notes the Press-Enterprise.

Police allege that Bobby Joe Washington took that vehicle, but, upon noticing the corpse, headed back and swapped vehicles.

Authorities caught up with Washington after a roughly 10-minute chase and arrested him, notes the New York Post.

He is facing charges related to the thefts of the vans, evading capture, and assault with a deadly weapon, as, during his attempted escape, he tried to run someone over.

Authorities believe the taking of the body was unintentional.