Man drives stolen excavator through a wall at Butler Plaza Walmart, police say

Gainesville law enforcement personnel investigate the scene at the Walmart on Southwest 42nd Street, where a man is said to have crashed a large excavator through the southwest wall of the store Monday, Sept. 11, 2023. (Photo courtesy Gainesville Police Department)


A man is in custody after Gainesville Police posted on social media that he allegedly stole a large excavator Monday night and drove it through a wall at the Butler Plaza Walmart at 2900 SW 42nd Street, causing damage to power poles and lines in the process.

The man was identified as Jesse Charles Smith, 47, of Trenton.

GPD posted photos on Monday on X, formerly known as Twitter, that show damage to the southwest wall of Walmart near the entrance to the store’s automotive department.

A traffic advisory was issued at about 9:30 p.m. for the area around Southwest 29th Avenue.

No further details were available at the time of this posting.

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