Police report

A Glendale police car became an unlikely hearse Tuesday night when officers hauled away an empty coffin that had been dumped on a neighborhood sidewalk, officials said.

The sight of a coffin strapped to the trunk of a patrol car turned heads as it headed down Wilson Avenue and Concord Street.

"We will make sure it is not stolen from a mortuary," police Sgt. Tom Lorenz said in an e-mail. "If no one claims it, it will go to auction or be donated."

The coffin had been dumped on the sidewalk in front of United Sheet Metal next to a dumpster on the 700 block of Ivy Street, according to a Glendale police report.

The metal shop owner told police that he didn't think much of the coffin because at first glance it appeared to be a prop, and trash is often dumped in front of his business, according to the report.

But then he pulled away three faux-coffin-shaped covers and found a real wood casket underneath, prompting him to call police.

Officers arrived at 5:58 p.m. Tuesday and peaked inside the empty coffin, which had wood carvings of Jesus and praying hands.

A neighbor told police that he arrived home about 3:30 p.m. and the coffin wasn't on the sidewalk.

Lorenz said someone likely owned the coffin and didn't want it anymore.

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