Machete-Wielding Man Steals 72,000-Pound Excavator, Wreaks Havoc On Community Causing $2 Million In Damages: Police

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A Florida man is in custody after allegedly hot-wiring an excavator and wreaking havoc on the community, before finally crashing into a Walmart and entering the store with a machete.

Jesse Charles Smith, 47, is facing charges of grand theft, property damage in excess of $1,000, four counts of criminal mischief, armed trespassing, and resisting arrest, following his arrest by Gainesville police officers Monday night, according to The Gainesville Sun.

At approximately 8 p.m., Smith allegedly stole an excavator, valued at $350,000, from Watson Construction, the outlet reported. After hot-wiring the 72,000-pound piece of machinery, Smith reportedly forced his way through a chainlink fence at a local storage facility called Storage Depot. Once inside the facility grounds, Smith then reportedly used the excavator to drive through multiple buildings, extending the boom as he went, The Gainesville Sun stated.

After causing damage to four buildings, Smith then turned his attention to a nearby fitness facility, forcing his way through yet another fence and the southeast corner of the property, the outlet reported. Smith’s alleged antics caused underground damage around the property and downed a utility pole, littering the ground with live wires, The Gainesville Sun reported.

Moving on from the fitness facility, Smith made his way to a nearby Walmart where he knocked over a light pole in the parking lot before crashing into the loading dock of the store, the outlet stated. Apparently undeterred, Smith then entered the store, wielding a machete which he later discarded after being confronted by police officers, the outlet stated. (RELATED: REPORT: Illinois Man On Forklift Leads Police On Really Long, Low-Speed Chase)

Though he dropped the weapon he was carrying, Smith reportedly “physically resisted” arrest, refusing to put his hands behind his back, according to the outlet.

No injuries were reported in the escapade, but police estimate more than $2 million in damages were inflicted on the community, the outlet stated.