It's a tribute to Todd Griffin's schmuckiness, then, that Oakland, Michigan, County Sheriff Michael Bouchard has publicly dubbed the man busted in Colorado this week a "lowlife" and a "scumbag." But that's about what you'd expect regarding a guy whose nickname is the Funeral Bandit.
The 44-year-old Griffin's reported tactic? He'd find out families were attending a funeral, wait until they'd left their home, and then take whatever he could find, whether it had likely resale value or not.Griffin is "really a heartless guy," Sheriff Bouchard told one Michigan TV station, because "he steals some very invaluable things in terms of monetary items, but things that are irreplaceable to the families. You know, you have items that were carved by kids when they were little for their mom or their dad. Absolutely meaningless on the open market but irreplaceable to a parent."
According to Bouchard, Griffin victimized at robbed at least sixteen houses using this approach -- but that's all over, at least for now. On Monday morning, according to the Colorado State Patrol, troopers received a BOLO (Be On the Lookout) about Griffin, who had been spotted in the west part of the metro area. Before long, a CSP rep spotted Griffin's ride, a Buick Rendezvous, at what's described as "a Lakewood business that specializes in purchasing gold and other precious metals."
Nope, Griffin wasn't trying to pawn a clay ashtray made by a first grader. He's said to have sold -- or perhaps we should say "fenced" -- $3,000 worth of jewelry to the local business owner.
Not that Griffin will get a chance to enjoy that haul. Troopers and Lakewood Police Department agents made it to the store while he was still on site and arrested him without incident -- and with a trip back to Michigan to face charges on the agenda.
Will someone break into his place now that they know he's no longer on the loose? Perhaps if they want to be nicknamed The Arrested Schmuck Bandit.
Here's a larger look at Griffin's mug shot, plus a report about the bust from WDIV-TV in Detroit.