A 23-year-old man faces charges of grand theft auto and probation violation Saturday afternoon after allegedly stealing a hearse that had just been used to deliver a casket to a mortuary, Santa Rosa police said Saturday.
Officers said that at about 2:10 p.m. Saturday, a hearse owned by the Windsor Healdsburg Mortuary in Windsor was used to deliver a casket to St. Rose Catholic Church on 10th Street in Santa Rosa in preparation for a service. When mortuary staff came back outside, their hearse was gone, police said.
The staffers called police, who found the hearse about 40 minutes later at the Motel 6 in the 3100 block of Cleveland Avenue in Santa Rosa, police said. When a man tried to drive away in the hearse, officers stopped the long, black Cadillac in the motel parking lot.
Taken into custody was Alberto Torres-Morales, described by police as a Santa Rosa-area transient. He was booked into the Sonoma County Jail on suspicion of auto theft, grand theft auto and probation violation.