Cheektowaga Police Sgt. Jeff Schmidt was on patrol early Sunday morning when, at about 1:20 a.m., he saw a bright flash coming from Total Tan at 2563 Union Road.
It turned out to be two men trying to steal copper wire from the business. The flash was the result of wires arching as they men tried to cut the wires while electricity was still pumping through them.
After a short foot chase, police arrested one of the suspected thieves: Paul Andrzejak, 52, of Ludington Street, Buffalo. On Monday, he was in custody at the Erie County Holding Center charged with second-degree criminal mischief and third-degree attempted grand larceny. Police were still searching for the second suspect.
An investigation resulted in the recovering of a set of bolt cutters near the tanning salon.
Damage to the electrical box and wiring was estimated to be valued at over $8,000. The crime remains under investigation.