Man steals Redding excavator – chaos & destruction ensue

REDDING — A man who officials say stole a large construction excavator and went on a destructive drive through Redding was arrested early Friday morning, Sept. 27.

He was apprehended after first crashing into a light pole and then plowing into a gas station overhang, causing “extensive damage” to the awning, according to officials. The incident came to a crashing end at the ARCO/AM PM gas station on the 4600 block of Churn Creek Rd. 

Authorities have since credited concerned citizens who witnessed the man’s destructive rampage and crash into the gas station overhang with convincing him to stop, after realizing the man intended on driving the excavator into the gas station’s convenience store, Redding Police Corporal Timothy Renault reported after the incident and arrest.


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Shasta County sheriff’s deputies were flagged down by witnesses around 3:20 a.m. and directed to the gas station where the alleged suspect was seen in the excavator heading north on Churn Creek Rd., according to Renault.

When deputies arrived at the gas station they contacted the excavator thief, later identified as 37-year-old, Remore Allen Smith, of North Carolina, at which time a brief struggle ensued, Renault explained.

Remore Smith was arrested earlier this morning after stealing a construction excavator and taking it on a drive through Redding, where he crashed into a pole and then an Arco AM/PM gas station. RPD photo

Despite his resistance, deputies managed to overpower and subdue Smith and take him into custody.

Because the theft and crashes happened within Redding city limits, Redding police officers responded to the scene and assumed the investigation.

During their subsequent investigation officers learned Smith stole the construction excavator from the northbound on-ramp of S. Bonnyview Rd. onto Interstate 5, where it had been parked for the night following construction along the I-5.

Smith then drove the large construction vehicle about a quarter-mile east on S. Bonneyview Rd. and then north on Churn Creek Rd., where he first struck a light pole and then took aim at the Arco gas station fuel pumps, plowing into the station’s awning above the pump area.

“Witnesses on scene were able to convince Smith to stop the excavator prior to him driving it into the store,” according to Renault.

Smith caused “extensive damage” to an awning while reportedly trying to drive a stolen excavator into the fuel pumps at an Arco AM/PM gas station on Churn Creek Rd. RPD photo

Based on their investigation, officers arrested Smith and he was later booked into Shasta County Jail on suspicion of stealing the excavator, resisting arrest, and hit and run.

No citizens were reported injured during the incident.

Anyone with information regarding this investigation or who believes their personal property was possibly damaged by the alleged suspect is encouraged to contact Redding PD at (530) 225-4200. Callers can refer to incident file number 19R063312 and can remain anonymous.

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Trevor Montgomery, 48, moved last year to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and runs Riverside County News Source and Shasta County News Source. Additionally, he writes or has written for several other news organizations; including Riverside County based newspapers, Valley News, (the now defunct) Valley Chronicle, Anza Valley Outlook, and Hemet & San Jacinto Chronicle; as well as Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County and Mountain Echo in Shasta County.

Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg, breaking his back, and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident. (Click here to see segment of Discovery Channel documentary of Trevor’s accident.)

During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations; including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center, and Lake Elsinore Station; along with other locations.

Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team, and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.

Trevor has been married for more than 29 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and his “fluid family” includes 13 children and 15 – but soon to be 16 – grandchildren.