Palo Alto and Stanford University police arrested a suspected burglar late Wednesday morning after finding him hiding in a shed near the Stanford Dish.
Faculty housing in the area had been hit by burglars several times in the past week, and officers were in the area looking for suspicious activity, Stanford Department of Public Safety spokesman Bill Larson said.
A Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office captain who is assigned to the Stanford Police Department was patrolling the neighborhood at 10:30 a.m., when he spotted a vehicle driving erratically on the 700 block of Frenchman's Road. The officer had probable cause to stop the vehicle, which also had traffic violations, Larson said.
The Sheriff's captain stopped the vehicle. While he and a Stanford police deputy checked the driver's identification, the driver fled. The officers pursued the vehicle, but lost sight of it. They located the vehicle, but the driver had fled on foot.
Stanford and Palo Alto police set up a perimeter at Junipero Serra Boulevard and the neighborhood. Police stationed cruisers near each entrance to the Dish area. Officers spotted the suspect on two occasions, but each time he fled. At one point, he discarded his shirt to try to throw off police, Larson said.
An onlooker witnessed three officers jogging up a hiking path toward a house where the man was allegedly hiding.
Upon approaching the house, the Palo Alto officer in the lead was tipped off by a man working at an adjacent home that the stranger was hiding inside the shed next door. The officer nimbly scaled the fence separating the house and, one hand on his holstered gun, approached the shed where the burglar was reportedly hiding. The officer signaled to the two colleagues trailing him that the man they were looking for was apparently in the shed. He then advanced to make the arrest.
"Come out with your hands in the air!" the officer shouted as he approached the shed.
Seconds later, a lanky man wearing a loose T-shirt, baggy jeans and a baseball cap was escorted from the shed. He sat down on the ground and waited quietly. The officers' two colleagues approached and, within minutes, a Stanford police cruiser with more police officers arrived at the scene.
Larson said the man was taken into custody at Junipero Serra and Frenchman's Road. Stanford police are still investigating his possible connection to up to four burglaries, including one on Wednesday morning, but he is only a suspect at this time, Larson said. Some property in the vehicle was similar to items taken in one of the burglaries, he said. The locations of the other burglaries are not being released at this time but they were in the same general area, he said.
Police are not yet releasing the man's name, but he is a Southern California resident in his 20s, Larson said. He was arrested for violating parole, evading and resisting a police officer and was booked into the Santa Clara County Main Jail in San Jose.