A man was caught inside the former Photocircuits factory on Sea Cliff Ave. Friday by Glen Cove Police using thermal imaging technology, a department spokesman said.
Officer Eddie Linares was checking the abandoned building just after dusk when he heard knocking noises from inside, police said. Investigating further, he smelled a strong odor of burning metal coming from inside and called for back-up.
A perimeter was established around the building as officers conducted a room-by-room search.
"It was a dangerous environment to search because the expansive building is in a state of disrepair and has no electricity, making it very dark and littered with broken machinery and mangled metal," said department spokesman Lt. Tom Fitzpatrick in a statement.
The officers found freshly cut pieces of copper and oxygen and acetylene torches, but observed no suspects, Fitzpatrick said. A thermal imaging camera was brought in from police headquarters and was used to locate a man hidden "in total darkness in a cavernous loft area 25 feet above the ground on top of a large chemical vat."
Jose Martinez, 30, of Hempstead was arrested and charged with third-degree burglary and possession of burglar's tools. He was arraigned Saturday in Nassau County First District Court.
The thermal imaging camera was acquired by the department about five years ago, Fitzpatrick said, and is used whenever police are searching for someone in a dark place.
He said different metals, primarily copper, had been cut from the inside of the former computer board manufacturing facility.