RIVERSIDE: Man arrested after stealing mortuary van with dead body inside it

RIVERSIDE – City of Riverside police officers arrested a man they say stole not just one, but two vans from Rest Assured Mortuary Services in Riverside Sunday, Feb. 12. Authorities said the alleged suspect returned the first van he stole after he realized the vehicle contained a dead body inside it. The mortuary where the two vehicle thefts happened is in the 1900 block of Chicago Avenue in Riverside.

Officers arrested Bobby Washington after he allegedly stole two mortuary vans. One of the vans contained a dead body in it, according to officials.

Officers arrested 24-year-old Bobby Joe Washington after he allegedly stole the second van from outside the Riverside area mortuary and led officers on a short pursuit.

According to police officials, Washington stole the first of two vans about 1:30 a.m., without realizing there was a body inside it. After mortuary officials realized the van with the body inside it had been stolen they contacted Riverside PD to report the theft of the vehicle.

Officials said that about an hour later, after Washington realized the van he had stolen contained a dead body in it, he returned the first van and stole a second one from the same business. Both vans were parked outside the mortuary when police say he stole them.

A mortuary employee reportedly saw Washington stealing the second van and tried to stop him, at which time officials allege Washington attempted to run the witness over with the vehicle.

As Washington fled from the location in the second stolen van, employees notified a Riverside police officer regarding the second theft. The officer was at the mortuary investigating the theft of the first van.

The officer pursued Washington in the second stolen van about 2 1/2 miles from the mortuary. The pursuit ended when Washington yielded to the officer’s lights and siren near the intersection of Linden Street and Canyon Crest Drive.

After Washington was stopped in the second stolen van, officers detained him for further investigation.

At the conclusion of their initial investigation, officers arrested Washington. He was transported to the Robert Presley Detention Center where he was booked on suspicion of two counts of vehicle theft, assault with a deadly weapon, and evading a police officer.

Washington was not charged with the theft of the dead body because officials believed he did not know the body had been inside the van when he stole it.

An online jail records search revealed Washington is being held in lieu of $100,000. He is scheduled to be arraigned at the Riverside Hall Of Justice Feb. 16.

Anyone with information about this incident and investigation is encouraged to contact Riverside Police Detectives at (951) 826-5700. Callers can refer to incident file number P17-026599 and can remain anonymous.

 

Contact the writer: trevor.rcns@gmail.com

trevor main

Trevor Montgomery spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg in an off-duty accident.

During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations, including the Robert Presley Detention Center, the Southwest Station in Temecula, the Hemet Station, and the Lake Elsinore Station, along with many other locations.

Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team, Personnel and Background Investigations and he finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator.

Trevor has been married for more than 26 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and has 13 children and 12 – soon to be 13 – grandchildren.

Stealing a dead body isn’t included in his list of charges because police believe he didn’t mean to steal it, Railsback said.

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KTLA “I don’t think I’ve ever heard of anything like this,” said Riverside Police Department spokesman Ryan Railsback. “Out of all the bad decisions he made, he at least made one good one and brought back the deceased person.”

 

Contact the writer: trevor.rcns@gmail.com

trevor main

Trevor Montgomery spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg in an off-duty accident.

During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations, including the Robert Presley Detention Center, the Southwest Station in Temecula, the Hemet Station, and the Lake Elsinore Station, along with many other locations.

Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team, Personnel and Background Investigations and he finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator.

Trevor has been married for more than 26 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and has 13 children and 12 – soon to be 13 – grandchildren.

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