Mortuary worker steals car, gun 48 hours after picking up dead man's body, deputies say

A mortuary worker has been arrested on suspicion of stealing a vehicle and a firearm from a dead man's home in Lancaster, according to authorities.

No fewer than 48 hours after mortuary worker Fernando Moguel picked up the body of an elderly man who had died March 5, the man’s vehicle and firearm were discovered missing from the home, authorities say.

Detectives from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department were called in to investigate and discovered that the stolen vehicle and firearm had been transferred into Moguel’s name, the Sheriff’s Department said.

On Wednesday, deputies went to Moguel’s home in the 6000 block of Coldwater Canyon Avenue in North Hollywood to conduct a search. The stolen vehicle and firearm were found at Moguel’s home, sheriff’s officials said.

Authorities have not identified the dead man. (The Los Angeles County Coroner did not know the man’s identity because he was picked up directly from his home and taken to the mortuary instead of the morgue.)

Moguel, 41, of Los Angeles, was taken into custody on suspicion of grand theft vehicle and possessing a stolen firearm, according to the Sheriff’s Department.

Ed Winter, spokesman of the L.A. County Coroner, said Moguel did not work for the coroner’s office.

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