ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – When thieves steal a U-Haul trailer from a hotel parking lot, they’re probably thinking tools, electronics, or jewelry. When they saw what was inside a trailer stolen on Monday morning, they quickly ditched it.
The U-Haul was taken right out of the parking at the Residence Inn near Gibson and Yale. It was then found just down the street, the precious cargo still inside.
“An employee here at the Residence Inn observed what he thought at the time was a vehicle being taken,” said Officer Tanner Tixier.
The vehicle was a Chevy Trailblazer with a U-Haul trailer attached to it. That hotel employee also told police he believed he saw the people responsible.
“He did think that the red Chevy Silverado pick-up truck was actually involved,” said Officer Tixier.
Albuquerque Police say a couple was traveling from Oklahoma to San Juan County to bury a relative when they stopped for the night at the hotel off Gibson and Yale.
“Unfortunately and grotesquely, a casket containing the remains of his father-in-law was inside that trailer,” said Officer Tixier.
About four hours after police got the call on Monday morning about the missing cargo, it turned up abandoned in the parking lot of the Puerto Del Sol Golf Course.
“Vehicle, trailer, and casket with the human remains are still inside,” said Officer Tixier.
People living near the golf course say that crime around the area is normal, but something like this, unheard of.
“I was a little surprised because a casket, usually a mortuary has a casket and not a U-Haul,” said Camille Ruggiero.
While police admit U-Haul thefts are common in Albuquerque, they say a stolen casket with a body inside is a first.
Regardless of the strange crime, the family can get back to properly grieving.
“For the family absolutely, that’s our biggest relief. To bring closure that quickly is always a good thing,” said Officer Tixier.
Earlier in the day, BSCO deputies were involved in a chase with a truck matching the description of the one involved in this crime, a red Silverado.
BSCO confirms the three suspects arrested in that case were involved with stealing the U-Haul.
The Silverado truck was also stolen. BSCO says the suspects almost crashed into an unmarked patrol car during the chase.