Florida man steals forklift, crashes into building causing $2M in damages

18 days ago

Gainesville news, Florida news.

A Trenton man was busted in Florida Monday after he allegedly went on a destruction spree using a stolen forklift.

47-year-old Jesse Charles Smith has allegedly “hotwired” the heavy vehicle before he bulldozed his way through a fence at a storage depot in Gainesville into buildings, police said. A total of four buildings at the storage facility sustained extensive damages.

Smith carried on with his destructive rampage knocking over a utility pole and causing live wires to fall to the ground. The excavator also caused significant underground damage.

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  • The suspect’s joyride came to an end at a Walmart after he crashed the equipment into a light pole and a loading dock.

    Smith allegedly stepped out of the vehicle wielding a machete and entered the store before being arrested following a brief physical struggle with officers.

    Authorities said that Smith caused nearly $2 million of damages and charged him with criminal mischief, grand theft, and causing property damage.