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Thieves cut hole in roof in brazen Best Buy burglary

Workers at the Best Buy store on Niagara Falls Boulevard in Amherst arrived at work Friday to make a stunning discovery: Burglars had broken into the electronics store by cutting a hole in the roof and lowering a ladder before making off with 400 iPads worth at least $90,000.

“We feel this was very well planned,” said Detective Lt. Richard S. Walter of the Amherst Police Department.

Amherst police also are trying to determine whether there’s a connection to an almost identical heist at another Best Buy outside of Erie, Pa., overnight Wednesday.

In the Amherst case, detectives say that the thieves stole a skylift, a type of cherry picker, from a nearby construction site to get themselves up on the roof of the store. From there, they cut a hole into the roof, and then lowered a ladder into the store.

They took 400 iPads.

“That’s a lot of inventory,” Walter noted. “They were in there for a while.”

The store closed at 9:30 p.m. Thursday and reopened at 6:30 a.m., at which point workers notified authorities.

Investigators were sorting through evidence and surveillance footage Friday.

“We did recover a significant amount of evidence,” said Walter. He said he could not elaborate on what that evidence was.

Anyone who may have information is asked to call detectives at 689-1342.

email: mbecker@buffnews.com and abesecker@buffnews.com