While many people don’t think twice about equipping their car with OnStar or similar tracking and GPS devices, many funeral homes and private collectors don’t add these options to their funeral cars. Part of the reason is because many people believe there are some things in life that just simply should not be done, no matter what. Like taking candy from a baby or prank calling your grandmother. Car theft is an inexcusable crime under any circumstances, but stealing a funeral car during a funeral service? That is simply unforgivable.
Yet this is exactly what happened in Leamington, Canada back in 2008. The case made headlines all over the world, including in the local The Windsor Star since funeral car theft simply isn’t seen that often. Apparently it is standard procedure at the Reid Funeral Home to leave the funeral cars unattended in procession line for approximately 15 minutes between the end of the funeral service and the beginning of the cemetery procession. On this particular occasion, that was long enough for the lead car, a 2008 Buick Enclave, to be stolen.
The procession was briefly delayed while another vehicle was readied. Thankfully, the stolen car was not the hearse. Although this sort of crime is not common, the funeral director had thought ahead. The Enclave was equipped with OnStar, an onboard GPS system that, among other features, can often trace a stolen vehicle.
The funeral director contacted local police, who in turn contacted OnStar dispatchers. The vehicle was quickly traced. After a short pursuit, the thieves abandoned the funeral car and attempted to flee on foot. Nonetheless, the bewildered crooks, who reportedly did not understand how they had been tracked, were quickly apprehended.
Most of us could not even fathom a criminal stooping so low as to steal a funeral car during a funeral service. Nonetheless, it apparently does happen. When this case broke in 2008, it was notable and became widely shared. Today, thefts of funeral cars remain uncommon but they aren’t as rare as they once were. As with any large investment, securing funeral cars from thieves is important for both professional funeral homes and private collectors. If you own a funeral car, whether or not you are in the business, it may be worth investing in vehicle locating software. It may just increase your chances of getting your vehicle back unharmed.