Illinois man, 38, charged for stealing St. Louis County funeral home van from convenience store lot


An Illinois man was charged Saturday with stealing a St. Louis County funeral home van from a convenience store that had been left running in the parking lot.  

Brian Schaake, a 38-year-old from Springfield, Illinois, has been charged with one count of stealing a motor vehicle, watercraft or vehicle and is currently being held on $40,000 bond. Christina Kalb was also detained but has not been charged, police shared.

According to a Saturday press release from the St. Louis County Police Department, responded to the QuikTrip in North County after getting reports of the stolen van on Thursday morning.

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Brian Schaake, 38, has been charged with one count of stealing a motor vehicle, watercraft or vehicle and is currently being held on $40,000 bond

The driver of the William Harris Funeral Home van told authorities that he had left the keys in the open vehicle at a gas pump as he rushed to use the restroom the convenience store.

As the employee was walking out of the QuikTrip, he noticed that the vehicle had been stolen.  

Christina Kalb was also detained but has not been charged, police shared

Christina Kalb was also detained but has not been charged, police shared

Surveillance footage from the store showed a male suspect – identified as Schaake – enter the vehicle through the driver side door and drive off with the lot. He is joined by a female accomplice who gets in on the passenger side.

Footage from a nearby Walgreen’s shows the pair exit the store before heading over to the QuikTrip. 

Police attempted to search for the vehicle but were getting little to nothing until they received a call the next day telling them that the vehicle had been seen at a nearby Wal-Mart. 

‘Defendant (Schaake) and co-defendant were arrested in Wal-Mart,’ the release states. ‘Defendant admitted to stealing the motor vehicle with co-defendant.’  

The pair were arrested on Friday morning in Festus, Missouri, roughly 50 miles away from where they had allegedly stolen the vehicle the day before.

‘The van and the deceased woman have also been recovered,’ police shared in a Friday release. 

The William C. Harris Funeral Home van had been left unattended Thursday at a QuikTrip gas station located at 12110 Lusher Road in St. Louis County, Missouri

The William C. Harris Funeral Home van had been left unattended Thursday at a QuikTrip gas station located at 12110 Lusher Road in St. Louis County, Missouri

Authorities shared surveillance footage photos of the van and of the pair of suspects who allegedly stole the vehicle

Authorities shared surveillance footage photos of the van and of the pair of suspects who allegedly stole the vehicle

The county police said they wouldn’t be releasing details of the dead woman. It’s not clear her age, how long she has been deceased or if her family has been notified, and the funeral parlor hasn’t commented. 

The William C. Harris Funeral Home van had been left unattended at a QuikTrip gas station located at 12110 Lusher Road in North County, according to a release shared by the St. Louis County Police Department. 

Authorities shared surveillance footage photos of the van and of the pair of suspects who allegedly stole the vehicle, according to KTVI.

The white van was a 2012 Nissan NV1500 van with the Missouri license plate 5MDX73 and had ‘William C Harris Funeral’ decals on the side and a ‘H’ with a wreath wrapped around it displayed on the back of the vehicle. 

Police arrived at the scene at approximately 10.26am and determined that the man and woman suspects entered the running vehicle and drove off.

Police arrived at the scene at approximately 10.26am, and determined that the man and woman suspects entered the running vehicle and drove off

Police arrived at the scene at approximately 10.26am, and determined that the man and woman suspects entered the running vehicle and drove off

The white van was taken outside St. Louis, and officers initially thought i

The white van was taken outside St. Louis, and officers initially thought i

The male suspect was wearing a navy and white baseball cap, a gray hoodie, dark pants and a black ski mask at the time of the incident

His female accomplice was last seen wearing a black jacket, dark pants and dark boots

Both suspects are described as being white with medium build. The male suspect was wearing a navy and white baseball cap, a gray hoodie, dark pants and a black ski mask at the time of the incident. His female accomplice was last seen wearing a black jacket, dark pants and dark boots

Authorities described the male suspect as being white, medium height, with black and gray hair. He was wearing a navy and white baseball cap, a gray hoodie, dark pants and a black ski mask at the time of the incident.

His female accomplice is described as being white with brown or red hair. She was last seen wearing a black jacket, dark pants and dark boots. Police shared that she was also wearing a black backpack.  

The St. Louis County Police Department’s Auto Crime Unit is investigating the incident.  

The QuikTrip convenience store where the vehicle was stolen

The QuikTrip convenience store where the vehicle was stolen

The St. Louis County Police Department’s Auto Crime Unit is investigating the incident

The St. Louis County Police Department’s Auto Crime Unit is investigating the incident



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