Hearse Stolen Outside Church, Casket Inside
Family chases down thief four blocks away
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 28, 2014 4:32 PM CST
A hearse is seen in this file photo.   (AP Photo/Topeka Capital-Journal, Chris Neal)

(Newser) – A pastor's wife says a hearse was stolen from outside a Southern California church ahead of funeral services with a casket inside. The Los Angeles Times reports that the hearse was idling outside Ebenezer Baptist Church in South Los Angeles while the funeral director arranged flowers for Saturday morning services yesterday for 19-year-old Jonté Lee Reed. Shirley Little, the pastor's wife, says the director called ministry friends for help when he saw the hearse was missing. Little says family members driving to the funeral had been notified and stopped the hearse four blocks from the church. KTLA reports that police detained the man, whose mental condition will be evaluated. Little says the hearse was returned and the funeral was only delayed by 30 minutes.