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Fort Lee Police Charge Machete-Carrying Man in Burglaries

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Fort Lee police Photo Credit: CLIFFVIEW PILOT

FORT LEE, N.J. -- Fort Lee detectives connected a rash of commercial burglaries to a 24-year-old Teaneck man they arrested with a machete outside a Route 4 motel last month.

A judge increased the bail for Sharod Benjamin to $100,000 for the additional charges.

Officers who responded to a report of a man with a gun on Oct. 19 said they found Benjamin in the parking lot of the Best Western with the black handle of a weapon sticking out of his waistband.

Detective Thomas Keelen approached Benjamin, who "circled around [him], bladed his body in a fighting stance and refused to take his hands out of his pockets," Detective Capt. Stanley Zons said.

Keelen "gave Benjamin several commands to take his hand outs of his pockets, but he refused to comply," Zon said.

Keelan and Sgt. Cory Horton grabbed Benjamin's arms while Police Officer Dillon Turner seized what turned out to be an 18-inch steel machete, the captain said.

A search turned up proceeds from five recent commercial break-ins that detectives had been investigating, he said.

Before they were done, detectives charged Benjamin with five counts of burglary, three of theft, two of illegal weapons possession and one each of forgery and criminal trespassing.

Benjamin remained held in the Bergen County Jail pending grand jury action on the charges.

Zon, meanwhile, asked that anyone with information that could help the investigation call his Detective Squad: (201) 592-3510.

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