A female resident on the 100 block of Ferne called law enforcement at 12:49 p.m. reporting that an unknown man was in her yard, but that he was unaware he was seen by her, said the Palo Alto Police Department.
Arriving officers found the suspect still in the backyard, next to a bicycle and the wheelbarrow, police said.
When officers called out to the man, he ran, jumped a fence and led police on a foot chase until an officer located him hiding in bushes in the Crescent Park Child Development Center parking lot at 4161 Alma St.
The suspect, 46-year-old Edward Vincent McDuffie, a transient, was arrested without incident, police said.
McDuffie was also reportedly carrying suspected methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia, and was under the influence of narcotics, as well, police said.
The bicycle was reportedly stolen earlier in the day from an alleyway near Happy Donuts at 3916 El Camino Real, police said.
Officers also determined McDuffie had burglarized an emergency-preparedness storage shed in the yard of the Crescent Park center at some point over the past few days, and stolen about $340 of items -- including the wheelbarrow, a portable heater, canned meats, first aid supplies, plastic bins, and a rug.
The goods were returned to the center’s staff.
Nothing appeared to be stolen from the Ferne home.
McDuffie was booked at the Santa Clara County Main Jail for four felonies -- suspected commercial burglary, possession of meth, possession of stolen property, and a probation violation -- and three misdemeanors counts of resisting arrest, being under the influence of narcotics, and possession of paraphernalia.
The suspect is on probation from previous drug convictions.
Detectives are investigating to see if the suspect is connected to any other burglaries in Palo Alto or surrounding communities.
Anyone with information about this incident or this suspect is asked to call the 24-hour dispatch center at 650-329-2413. Anonymous tips can be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or sent via text message or voice mail to 650-383-8984.