SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – A man has been arrested after allegedly stealing an excavator from a construction site and driving it nearly a mile to a Utah grocery store parking lot where he started ripping up the ground.
Salt Lake City Police Department (SLCPD) say that this investigation began today just after noon when officers received reports of a man who was inside of a stolen excavator “randomly digging up the ground at 828 South 900 West.”
Police records note that a large crowd at the grocery store helped to prevent the man from leaving, and that officers were able to safely take him into custody upon arrival.
Though the full extent of the damage is still being assessed, SLCPD says that the suspect caused significant damage to the ground, hitting a water line and ripping out newly installed fiber optic utility lines.
According to police records, there were no injuries reported in relation to this incident, and no crashes occurred while the excavator was being illegally operated on city streets.
Official documents state that based on information gathered in the preliminary investigation, “the excavator had been left running while at a job site at 900 South 300 West. The suspect, for an unknown reason, got inside then drove away.” Crews at the construction site were then able to follow the man to the Smith’s grocery store parking lot.
The suspect, whose name and age is being withheld, will be booked into the Salt Lake County Metro Jail on charges of felony theft and felony criminal mischief.