First they saw the man on a bicycle, carrying bolt cutters. Then they saw flashes of light coming from the burnt shell of a house.
Firefighters were called to the house in the 5600 block of South J Street about 3 p.m. Saturday for a reported electrical fire. There were no flames, but Tacoma Fire investigators said the man was causing arcing in the electrical box while trying to cut live wires.
Police arrested the 27-year-old man on suspicion of residential burglary and possession of burglary tools.