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Alleged prowler jumps wrong fence

Caught by police chief in his backyard

At the kickoff for last week’s National Night Out, Madera Police Chief Steve Frazier would speak about the importance of knowing and interacting with one’s neighbors, which he said deters crime.


A week later, he and his neighbors would do that and more in response to a suspected would-be burglar and prowler who jumped over the wrong fence, according to Madera police, and into the backyard of the chief.


Suspect Douglas Owens, 45, would be booked into Madera County jail on charges of trespassing, possession of burglary tools and prowling, according to police Sgt. Josiah Arnold.


Residents of the area of Granada and Riverview drives called authorities Wednesday afternoon with claims of seeing a man jumping over fences and running through backyards, said  Arnold. A search by dispatched patrol officers turned up nothing.


About 30 minutes later, Owens allegedly jumped into the backyard of Frazier, who was off-duty and barbecuing steaks for his family. Despite being in shorts and sandals, Frazier chased the suspect after spotting him. Frazier, along with several other neighbors, were ultimately able to catch Owens and hold him until officers could arrive.


“We were just impressed,” Arnold said. “Seeing our chief in flip flops catching the guy.”


According to Arnold, Owens was booked in Madera County jail for trespassing, possession of burglary tools, and prowling.