Man arrested in connection with burglary of SoMa pet-boarding business 

click to enlarge The suspect played with the dogs and gave them free reign of the K9 Playtime pet day care facility on Friday. - FERNANDO/FLICKR
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  • The suspect played with the dogs and gave them free reign of the K9 Playtime pet day care facility on Friday.
Who let the dogs out?

A South of Market area pet-boarding business had a “ruff” start to the weekend after being burglarized early Friday morning, police said.

Police have made an arrest in the case and the suspect has been identified as 59-year-old Michael Grunwald, Officer Grace Gatpandan said. Grunwald has no known address.

Grunwald is alleged to have forcibly entered the K9 Playtime pet day care facility in the 500 block of Brannan Street about 6:24 a.m., K9 Playtime owner Marc Pearl said.

According to Pearl, Grunwald climbed on top of a barrel or drum outside the business and broke a window, gaining entry.

Once inside, Pearl said, he “engaged and played with the dogs” and then gave the dogs “free reign” of the place after he allegedly let them all out of their enclosures.

All of this was caught on surveillance cameras, Pearl said.

After letting the dogs out, Grunwald reportedly entered the retail sales area of the store and began filling up bags with dog food, dog treats and toys, while every now and then throwing a treat to the loose dogs, Pearl said.

About 6:30 a.m., two male employees, 25 and 38, showed up for work and were about to begin their daily feedings of the dogs when they noticed the dogs were loose, Pearl said.

When the employees went into the retail section of the store, they saw the burglar and detained him with a stun gun until police arrived, police said. The stun gun was not used on the suspect.

Thankfully, no dogs were injured during the ordeal and all were returned to their assigned enclosures.

Pearl said the burglar was destructive toward the store.

Besides opening up bags of treats and toys that now can’t be sold, he is also alleged to have thrown a store display across the store at a computer screen, he said. It took about two employees all day Friday to clean up after the incident.

Before police arrived, Pearl had a chance to have a few words with the suspect, who reportedly told him he was a federal agent and that he was in the store on federal business. He also told Pearl that he saw someone else break in to the business and that he was only trying to help catch that suspect.

Grunwald was charged with commercial burglary today by the District Attorney’s Office, spokesman Alex Bastian said. He is scheduled to return to court tomorrow for arraignment at 1:30 p.m.

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