Police in Palo Alto arrested a suspected burglar Monday before he could use his victim's car to make a getaway.

According to police, a housekeeper found a stranger rummaging through her client's home on the 1800 block of Channing Avenue when she arrived for work at about 1:42 p.m. She called the homeowner, who was nearby.

The homeowner returned to find a man allegedly trying to start his car, which was parked in the driveway, and phoned police for assistance.

Officers arrived on the scene in less than a minute and initially had trouble getting the man to leave the victim's car, police said. But he quickly complied when a canine unit made an appearance.

A subsequent investigation revealed that the man -- identified as Axel Morales, 20, of Palo Alto -- had burglarized the same home two days earlier, police said. That burglary had gone undetected by the homeowner.

Police allegedly found stolen property on Morales, including jewelry and keys. In both burglaries, Morales used a hide-a-key to get inside the home on Channing Avenue, police said.

Morales was arrested on suspicion of burglary, attempted vehicle theft, tampering with a vehicle and resisting arrest. Detectives are investigating whether he is responsible for other burglaries in the city.

Anyone with information about the residential burglary is asked to call the police department's 24-hour dispatch center at 650-329-2413. Tipsters who wish to remain anonymous can text or call 650-383-8984, or email paloalto@tipnow.org.

Email Jason Green at jgreen@dailynewsgroup.com; follow him at twitter.com/jgreendailynews.