Fingerprints and a Facebook page recently helped police identify a burglary suspect who refused to give his real name, authorities said.
Charles Benjamin, age uncertain, was arrested Jan. 29 and charged with the burglary of an occupied residence on Emmett Street days earlier, according to court paperwork and William Sanderson of the Schenectady County District Attorney’s office.
Benjamin is accused of breaking into the residence while the occupants slept and taking items. Police used its street surveillance camera system to track Benjamin to an area motel. When police learned he had returned to the motel, they arrested him, Sanderson said Wednesday.
After his arrest, Benjamin allegedly gave police a false name and date of birth.
When police looked into the name issue further, they located a man who claimed to be that person in the Bronx. The Bronx man told police his Social Security card and other documents were stolen from his residence in September.
Police confirmed the Bronx man’s identity by pulling up a state photo on file. They also used viewed photos on the Bronx man’s Facebook page, according to papers filed in court.
After determining who Benjamin wasn’t, charges were filed against him under the place-holder name of John Doe.
He was charged with second-degree burglary, a felony, related to the break-in. He also was charged with obstructing governmental administration and second-degree criminal impersonation for giving the false name and refusing to answer basic arrest processing questions, according to papers.
It was his fingerprints that ultimately put a real name to the burglary suspect, Sanderson said. His age was unclear as there were multiple dates of birth on file, including two from 1977. The man he is accused of impersonating was born in 1991.
Benjamin remained held without bail Wednesday.