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After fleeing to Colorado, funeral bandit back to Michigan,facing charges

April 03, 2013 - The 44-year-old man whom police are calling "the funeral bandit" arrived back in Michigan Wednesday after having fled to Colorado.

Todd Lloyd Griffin was expected to be arraigned on a probation violation charge April 4, with numerous charges in numerous jurisdictions to come in the weeks ahead, said Oakland County Sheriff's Office Lt. Dale Miller.

Griffin was connected to a series of home invasions in multiple counties that took place while victims were attending funeral services for loved ones. One of the crimes took place in Brandon Township. Griffin apparently targeted families based on obituaries or advertisements for estate sales.

Oakland County Sheriff's Office deputies executed search warrants on a Pontiac residence March 21 in an attempt to locate Griffin, wanted on a probation violation. Upon arrival at the residence, deputies found large quantities of jewelry, electronics, and invaluable personal items in both the house and garage. The items were from home invasions in Genesee, Livingston, Macomb, Shiawassee, and Oakland counties, including the one in Brandon Township.

The Brandon home invasion occurred March 3. Deputies responded to a home in the 4900 block of Hummer Lake Road around 9:30 p.m. that day after a widow reported she and other family members left the home around 1:30 p.m. to attend funeral home visitation for her late husband. When they arrived back at the home, they found dresser drawers strewn about and jewelry missing, as well as a gift card and change.

On March 25, on his birthday, Griffin was located by authorities at a pawn shop in Colorado and was taken into custody. At the time of his arrest, Griffin was in possession of numerous jewelry items.

Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard said of the arrest, "I can't think of a better birthday present to give this lowlife who had been violating families in their time of grieving."

Susan covers Brandon Township and Ortonville
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