Gainesville, Florida – A local man was apprehended on Monday evening following a chaotic incident involving a stolen excavator and a Walmart store. Jesse Charles Smith, 47, is accused of commandeering the heavy-duty machinery and causing significant damage to a storage facility on SW 40th Boulevard in the southwestern part of Gainesville, according to local law enforcement.
After the initial destruction, Smith reportedly embarked on a reckless journey through the city streets, toppling power poles in his path. His destructive spree culminated in a dramatic crash into a Walmart store located on SW 42nd Street. Images of the extensive damage caused by the excavator were later disseminated by the police on various social media platforms.
Despite the extensive property damage, there were no reported injuries from either the storage unit incident or the Walmart crash. The origin of the stolen excavator remains unknown at this time.
Smith was subsequently arrested and is currently being held at the Alachua County Jail. According to online records from the Alachua County jail, Smith faces a multitude of charges. These include grand theft, resisting an officer without violence, trespassing, and criminal mischief resulting in property damage.