Man steals excavator, drives it nearly a mile and tears up ground in Salt Lake City

Suspect is arrested after causing damage to water line and fiber-optic cables

(Courtesy of the Salt Lake City Police Department) Utility workers check the damage at 800 South and 900 West after a man tore up ground in Salt Lake City on Saturday in a stolen excavator.

A man was arrested in Salt Lake City on Saturday after stealing an excavator from a construction site, driving it nearly a mile and digging up ground near a grocery store, according to police.

A water line and newly installed fiber-optic cables at 828 S. 900 West were damaged, police said.

The excavator had been left running about noon at a job site at 900 S. 300 West. The suspect got inside and drove away, police said. Crews at the construction site followed the suspect to the grocery store parking lot.

People at the grocery store helped prevent the man from leaving before police arrived.

Officers planned to book the man into the Salt Lake County Metro Jail on suspicion of felony theft and felony criminal mischief.

Crews from Salt Lake City Public Utilities, Salt Lake City Streets, Salt Lake City Fire and Dominion Energy responded to assess the damage and to ensure there was no gas leak.

Fox 13 reported that there was no gas leak, according to utility crews and firefighters. Police said they are still working to figure out the full extent of the damage.