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March 15. 2013 12:11PM

Home invasion suspect arrested in Claremont


CLAREMONT -- A man wanted in a home invasion, during which a gun was held to the head of an 84-year-old man, was arrested Thursday night at a Broad Street residence.

Authorities said Benjamin Ecklund, 31, of Claremont, was hiding behind a mattress in the basement of the apartment building when members of the U.S. Marshal's Fugitive Task Force found him and arrested him.

"Criminals of this magnitude truly shock both the public and law enforcement," said U.S. Marshal David Cargill Jr. "The thought of a defenseless elderly man being subjected to these crimes is horrifying, and that is why law enforcement worked together to make the arrest of Ecklund the highest priority."

Ecklund, along with three others who are under arrest, allegedly broke into the home of the elderly man on March 6, forced him to the floor at gunpoint and robbed him of $77 in cash and two winning lottery tickets worth $25. The elderly man suffered minor injuries in the incident.

According to a U.S. Marshal's Service news release, police were "very actively" pursuing Ecklund, which forced him to go "deep into hiding." On Thursday, investigators developed information which led them to an apartment in the 200 block of Broad Street.

Ecklund was taken to the police station where he was booked on the outstanding charges stemming from the home invasion. He was detained in the Sullivan County jail pending arraignment Friday in 5th Circuit Court, Claremont District Division.





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