In a move his family claims he would have appreciated, a man's body was stolen, along with the hearse carrying him, moments before his funeral in Australia.

As mourners gathered for the funeral of 52-year-old human rights lawyer Seth Richardson, a man jumped out of the bushes and into the hearse carrying his coffin, speeding away shortly after. Mr Richardson's sister-in-law Hayley West spoke to the Sydney Morning Herald about the theft:

"One of the funeral guys who works for the funeral home went out to the hearse to grab the trolley to put it under the coffin and in a split second this guy jumped out of the bushes, jumped straight into the hearse and started it up.

The funeral guy was banging on the window going 'what the hell are you doing? You can't drive away in the hearse'.

Then he ran into the hall and yelled 'someone has taken the hearse, with Seth!'"

Seth's brother, Tobias Richardson, called the police to inform them about the incident, leading to some confusion. Hayley West continued: "And the police thought it was a murder. And there was this weird confusion, and he was like 'no, he's already dead, it's a hearse'."

Tobias decided to chase down the hearse himself, trapping the driver in a cul-de-sac before he was detained by the police.

According to police, the hearse thief was a recently-escaped nursing home patient with dementia. He was taken to the hospital and, according to the Morning Herald, no further police action will be taken.

"Seth would have thought this was so funny," West told the Morning Herald, "He had a wicked sense of humor."

[image via Shutterstock]