Man charged with trying to break into Port Orchard family’s home during 12-year-old’s funeral

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PORT ORCHARD – This is the worst story you’ll read all day.

Sheriff’s deputies say a man in Port Orchard used obituaries to find empty homes to burglarize, including an incident in which he planned to use the funeral of a 12-year-old girl who died of the flu as cover. The girl’s father grew so suspicious over what transpired during that attempted break-in that he ended up thwarting a second attempted burglary at another grieving family’s home, blocking in the man’s car and waiting for police to come arrest him.

Shane Michael Grinde, 38, was charged with two counts of attempted residential burglary.

It began on Jan. 20, when 12-year-old Piper Lowery died of the flu. Three days later, a family friend was house-sitting for the family while they attended the funeral, which started at noon.

The family friend said that, promptly at noon, somebody knocked on the door. When she opened it, she found a nervous-looking man who told her he was looking for his missing cat.

She found the whole thing suspicious and called the police.

Piper’s father, Brian Lowery, was so upset over the incident that he began reading the obituaries himself.  He zeroed in on another funeral, and teamed up with a friend to stake out that family’s house while they were gone.

Sure enough, deputies say, Grinde showed up at the house with a similar story of a missing cat. Lowery recognized Grinde’s car as the one that had come to his house, blocked it in the driveway and called 911.

When Kitsap County sheriff’s deputies arrived, they found a crowbar and rubber gloves in the car and arrested Grinde for possession of burglary tools.

The hole got deeper once Grinde was arrested, and on Thursday the charges were upped to attempted burglary.

Deputies reviewed calls to his mother and girlfriend in which he said that if the deputies were smart, they would’ve waited until he actually broke into the houses because they could’ve charged him with a felony rather than a misdemeanor.

Deputies noted that the two houses were more than seven miles apart from each other, making Grinde’s missing-cat story unlikely.

Grinde has a long rap sheet that includes assault, drug dealing and possession, trespassing and jumping bail.