Police use Taser to nab burglary suspect

Man, 27, chased on foot, arrested near California Avenue train station

Palo Alto police chased down, shocked with a Taser and arrested a 27-year-man who they said was attempting to burglarize a home in Old Palo Alto on Friday morning.

The arrest followed a foot chase that concluded next to the new fountain sculpture by the California Avenue train station. After a struggle with an officer, Franklin Hollis Lovell was arrested shortly after 10 a.m. and charged with felony attempted burglary, prowling and resisting arrest.

Police began searching for a burglary suspect shortly after 9:47 a.m., when they received a call from a resident on Rinconada Avenue who said that an unknown male had just been at her house. She told the police that the man had fled on foot and that her husband followed him, took pictures of him with his cell phone and watched as the man jumped the fence into the backyard of another residence.

The woman and her husband, both in their 30s, shared the photos with the police, who shared them with everyone on patrol.

It didn't take long for them to spot the man in the photo. About 20 minutes after getting the call, an officer saw the suspect standing on the California Avenue platform, near Park Boulevard. Police said that when an officer tried to detain the man, he disobeyed commands and fled on foot. He then jumped over a fence at the train station, but the officer caught up to him. The two then physically struggled, with the suspect allegedly shoving the officer away twice before continuing to run, police said.

The officer caught up to Lovell again near the California Avenue fountain and once again directed him to stop, police said. This time, after Lovell allegedly refused commands, the officer discharged a Taser at him, and he was then taken into custody at 10:12 a.m., police said.

Police alleged Lovell, who has no permanent address, had been prowling in the backyard of the Rinconada Avenue residence and had tried to enter a locked door leading into the house from the side yard. He never actually entered the home, police said. Prowling was included in his list of charges because he allegedly ran through a backyard at a different residence after hopping the fence.

Palo Alto Fire Department paramedics arrived at the California Avenue train station to check Lovell's condition and transport him to a local hospital for medical attention, as is standard procedure after a Taser is fired. Police said both Lovell and the officer who chased him down sustained minor injuries.

Police are still trying to determine whether Lovell is connected to any other recent crimes in Palo Alto, including a prowling incident that occurred on the 1000 block of Metro Circle on Wednesday night. Detectives are following up to determine whether there is a connection, police said.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call the department's 24-hour dispatch center at 650-329-2413. Anonymous tips can be emailed to or sent via text message or voice mail to 650-383-8984. Tips can also be submitted anonymously through the department's free mobile app, downloadable at or

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8 people like this
Posted by parent
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 10, 2015 at 5:56 pm

Suspect description for the previous incident was a thin white man. Hope this is the same guy and he is off the streets for good.

6 people like this
Posted by resident 1
a resident of another community
on Jul 10, 2015 at 8:30 pm


[Portion removed.] This guy will likely be wandering the streets as soon as he posts bail. He's not going to be locked up forever for assault or prowling.

Sorry, but there's no life imprisonment for these type of violations.

1 person likes this
Posted by Kazu
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 11, 2015 at 1:51 pm

That must have been a shocking experience for the would-be burglar. Sometimes it pays to have a German Shepherd in the back yard. Dogs are both an active (burglar munching) and and passive (burglar deterring) solution, not to mention great family companions.

Like this comment
Posted by enough!
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Jul 13, 2015 at 10:46 am

Is that blonde guy on the upper right hand corner who's looking mildly shocked and pensive the suspect?

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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