FREMONT -- When the passer-by spotted the box in the grass on the side of the road and opened it to reveal its contents, police say he got quite the surprise.
Inside the small box: Human remains.
Officers were dispatched at 6 p.m. Sunday to Creekside Village Apartments on the 2900 block of Sequoia Terrace for a report of found property, said police spokeswoman Geneva Bosques.
A 41-year-old man there told police that he spotted a small box near Paseo Padre Parkway and when he picked it up, he saw a crematorium's labeling. Inside appeared to ashes of a dead person.
Upon further inspection of the box, police noticed it was labeled with the decedent's name, date of death and the crematorium used, Bosques said. The name of the crematorium was not released.
Using the name on the box, police located the decedent's family member -- a 33-year-old man who lived nearby.
The resident told police that earlier that day, someone broke into his car and stole the box of ashes that were later found by the road, Bosques said.
The victim said his car was parked in the 37300 block of Sequoia Road when he noticed someone had broken into it.
Anyone with information about the auto burglary is asked to call Fremont police at 510-790-6800.
Contact Natalie Neysa Alund at 510-293-2469. Follow her at Twitter.com/nataliealund.