A man who went on a spending spree in downtown Palo Alto using a stolen credit card was chased and arrested by Palo Alto police on Wednesday, Dec. 21, morning.
Francis Miller, 45, a Massachusetts resident, was arrested after a foot chase on University Avenue and booked on three counts of burglary, three counts of identity theft, and one count of resisting arrest in connection with using credit cards he allegedly stole from a downtown Palo Alto gym locker.
A Menlo Park man reported his credit card was stolen on Dec. 19. Someone used the card at three downtown businesses: Juut Salon Spa, Hemingway Tobacco and The Sports Gallery and charged more than $2,500, according to police.
Police obtained surveillance photos of the suspect from the businesses and distributed the photos to Palo Alto police officers and to other local agencies. A Palo Alto officer saw Miller, who matched the suspect description, standing on the corner of Bryant Street and Hamilton Avenue Wednesday at approximately 11:15 a.m.
Miller ran through CVS Pharmacy at 352 University Ave. and Siam Thai at 338 University Ave. Officers caught Miller in the 500 block of Bryant Street near University and arrested him. Three officers and Miller sustained minor injuries during the arrest. He was booked into the Santa Clara County Main Jail after receiving medical treatment.
Palo Alto detectives obtained a search warrant for Miller's hotel room in Newark and recovered some of the property he allegedly purchased with the stolen credit card.
Detectives located a large amount of high-end clothing, watches and purses that they think might also have been fraudulently purchased using other stolen credit cards. Police are asking anyone who has recently had their credit card fraudulently used in Palo Alto to contact the 24-hour dispatch center at 650-329-2413.