GAINSVILLE, FL – In a bizarre turn of events, a Florida man was arrested on Monday evening after allegedly stealing an excavator and causing a trail of destruction that ended in a Walmart store. The suspect, 47-year-old Jesse Charles Smith, is said to have first targeted a storage unit on SW 40th Boulevard in Gainesville, using heavy machinery to cause significant damage.
Smith then reportedly took the stolen excavator on a wild ride through the city, knocking down power poles along his route. The climax of his destructive spree was a dramatic collision with a Walmart store on SW 42nd Street. The police later shared images of the damage on social media platforms.
Miraculously, no injuries were reported from either the storage unit incident or the Walmart crash. The details surrounding the initial theft of the excavator remain unclear.
Following the incident, Smith was taken into custody and is currently being held at the Alachua County Jail. Online records from the jail indicate that Smith is facing a slew of charges, including grand theft, resisting an officer without violence, trespassing, and criminal mischief resulting in property damage.