A homeless couple with a last known address in Springfield have been charged after stealing a funeral home van with a body inside in St. Louis County, Missouri.
38 year old Brian Schaake and 31 year old Christina Kalb allegedly stole a 2012 white Nissan William Harris Funeral Home van that that had been left running at a QuikTrip gas station located at 12110 Lusher Road in St. Louis County, Missouri Thursday morning. A William Harris Funeral Home employee had left the van running while they went inside to use the restroom and came back to report the van missing at approximately 10:26AM. According to charging documents and video surveillance, Schaake and Kalb allegedly entered the vehicle and left the area. According to WAND-TV, a Jefferson County, Missouri driver spotted the van and followed the suspects and the van to a Wal-Mart parking lot in Festus, Missouri roughly 50 miles away and alerted police. Schaake and Kalb were arrested inside the store without incident. According to court records, Schaake admitted to stealing the van with Kalb. The van was also transporting a deceased person to the funeral home at the time of the theft.
Schaake was charged with one count of motor vehicle theft and is being held on $40,000 cash only bond. Kalb was charged with Tampering with a Motor Vehicle in the Second Degree. She has been released from custody. Detective Scott Russell told the St. Louis Post Dispatch that Schaake likely wouldn’t show up in court because his last address was out of state and he was believed to be homeless. The detective wrote to the Post Dispatch saying that Schaake “poses a danger to the community or to any other person because he continued to occupy the stolen vehicle after observing the vehicle was transporting a deceased subject.”
The van and body were recovered and returned to the funeral home. Detectives from the St. Louis County Police Department’s Auto Crime Unit are leading the investigation.