Thieves take stolen hearse for a joyride in Green Bay

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - It's not often that the word "hearse" and "joyride" go together, but some thieves have made it a reality in Green Bay.

On July 7, someone stole a hearse from a funeral home on the city's west side and took it for a spin.

Funeral home staff told police that they believed the vehicle was locked, but investigators think this was a crime of opportunity.

"Doesn't seem like they [the thieves] had to break in. It seems like they [staff] left something unlocked. What we're thinking anyway," says Lt. Ben Allen, Green Bay Police Dept.

The hearse was found abandoned in the city Monday night. Green Bay Police evidence technicians are going through it and looking for clues.

There were no remains in the hearse when it was stolen.

Lt. Allen says the stolen hearse was one of several car thefts that happened around that time.

"Really on the west side of town. Along with this one, there were also three other stolen autos on the west side over that same time period," Allen says.

Investigators believe the thefts are being perpetrated by kids or young adults. They find unlocked vehicles and go through them. Too often they find the keys inside the unlocked car.

"Lock everything," Lt. Allen says. "If you don't want to lock your car, make sure you take your keys out."

Action 2 News has reported on the spike of car thefts in the first weeks of summer. The thieves don't go far--sometimes just across the city. Police suspect they're looking for a quick way to get around town.