COTTONWOOD HEIGHTS — Two men armed with a vacuum were arrested Wednesday morning after police say they failed to make a clean getaway.

Just after 4:30 a.m., a police officer spotted two men acting suspiciously at an automated car wash, 1859 E. Fort Union Blvd. As the officer turned his vehicle around to question the men, they spotted him and took off, said Cottonwood Heights police Sgt. Gary Young.

The men had attempted to change their vehicle's license plate number by using black electrical tape to turn a D into a B, Young said. The trailing officer spotted the altered plate and pulled them over.

Inside the vehicle, he found a vacuum and a power inverter. But rather than cleaning their floor mats, investigators believe the men hooked the vacuum up to the coin dispensing machines at the car wash and tried to suck money out of it.

"These guys hooked up a pretty powerful shop vacuum to the power inverter," Young said.

He was unsure Wednesday how much money the men actually got using a vacuum.

Todd Herburg, 53, and Scott Luker, 55, were arrested for investigation of burglary.

Herburg was convicted on a drug-related charge in 2010, according to state court records. Luker took a plea in abeyance to misdemeanor shoplifting in March. He was also convicted on an amended charge of attempted aggravated assault in 2008, according to court records.