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Woman blocked ex-boyfriend online so he brought toolkit and tried to break in, police say

Benjamin Marine was booked on (from left) Jan. 7 and Sept. 25, 2022. (Palm Beach Co. Sheriff's Office)
Benjamin Marine was booked on (from left) Jan. 7 and Sept. 25, 2022. (Palm Beach Co. Sheriff's Office)
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It took two tries but police say they managed to get a confession after being called to an overnight "loitering and prowling incident."

It happened in Delray Beach at about 3:40 a.m. on Sunday, Sept. 25.

walking erratically within the center of the roadway

The suspect — on Homewood Boulevard, a few blocks south of Atlantic Avenue — “was walking erratically within the center of the roadway,” according to an arrest report. “I met with the subject Benjamin Marine who advised that he was attempting to walk home but was not using the available sidewalk.

he could not provide a reasonable explanation

“While speaking to Marine, I observed a tool bag and toolkit in plain view that he was holding in his hands. I asked Marine why he was carrying the tools and he could not provide a reasonable explanation. I observed Marine to be impaired on an unknown narcotic. I also observed him to have a fresh cut on the palm of his hand, as his own dry blood was visible.

he failed to provide any reasonable explanation

“Marine said he had left his home to go for a long walk and took his toolkit with him for unknown reasons. Marine’s residence was over a mile from where he was located, and he could not explain why he had the toolkit within the area of several residential communities. I gave him several opportunities to dispel my suspicion that he had or was in the process of committing a crime, but he failed to provide any reasonable explanation about his actions.

I took Marine into custody for loitering and prowling

“Due to the location, time of night, no reasonable explanation about where he was going or coming from, and no explanation about why he was carrying the toolkit, I took Marine into custody for loitering and prowling. Search incident to arrest, I observed the toolkit to contain two screwdrivers, other praying-type tools, along with a loose pair of socks that from my training and experience are commonly used to cover the hands while committing a burglary and not leaving fingerprints.

Marine assured me that he was not in the area to engage in any criminal activity

“Later on in the evening, a victim who is Marine’s former girlfriend called police to report a forced entry into her home [address] while she was sleeping inside the home.”

A second arrest report picked up at the police station, where a detective wrote, “The reason he was observed in the area, where officers made contact with him, is because he went for a walk to clear his head. Marine stated that he has been dealing with a recent death in the family. Marine further stated that he is an electrician, and he was not even thinking when he grabbed the tools with him to go for a walk. Marine assured me that he was not in the area to engage in any criminal activity.”

But then, the detective was told “that a complainant [name] called the police department and stated that she believes that [her ex] attempted to break into her residence, and broke her flowerpots and plants outside of her residence. I responded to [name]’s residence at [address] to make contact with her.

“Upon my arrival, I observed several broken flowerpots and plants lay broken on the grass in front of the building. I walked upstairs and observed another broken pot with plants in it on the balcony in front of [the victim]’s sliding glass door. The front door of [the victim]'s residence had fresh pry marks near the locks, and a piece of the wood on the door appeared to be coming off as if someone attempted to break into the residence.”

because he has been threatening to come to her house

The arrest report said she told the detective, “She woke up this morning on this date, 9/25/22, at approximately 4:19 a.m. and discovered that her plants on her balcony had been damaged, and later discovered that someone tried to enter her residence. Her front door has two locks, a bolt lock on the top and another regular lock with a door handle on the bottom. [The victim] stated that she always locks her door by locking both locks every night before she goes to sleep; however, she discovered the bolt lock unlocked, but the bottom block within the door handle was locked when she woke up. [The victim] stated she thought that it was [her ex] Ben Marine who did it because he has been threatening to come to her house. [The victim] stated that she and Marine [blacked out] with because she found out he was on drugs. [The victim] stated that she has blocked Marine from contacting her; however, Marine has been sending emails and text messages repeatedly about doing harm to her and coming to her residence. [The victim] stated that she is afraid because Marine’s mother has told her that Marine has a gun, although [the victim] has never seen Marine with a gun. [The victim] stated that she did not give Marine permission to enter her property and damage her plants, and she wished to press charges against Marine. [The victim] positively identified Marine in a familiarization photo.

“The following is a list of emails that Marine sent [the victim] on the morning of 9/25/22:

“At 0054 hours:
‘You're going to end up losing your life you don't understand if you don't give me a sound reason as to why you put me through this f****** b******* for the last year’

“At 0111 hours:
‘Wait till I send my over there it only cost 50 bucks a piece’

“At 0133 hours:
‘You better start giving me some answers as to why you f*** with my head before people start really getting hurt and I'm escalating and I'm escalating quick’
‘I'm not playing f****** games [name]’

“At 1049 hours:
‘You’re such a f****** little liar. You didn't get fired and your dad didn't die. It's a f****** pathetic you stupid b**** ugly f****** hooker and things are going to get worse are you here on out. I want you not to f*** with my emotions b****, I swear to God I warned you. ***ps you you don't have to worry about threatening me with jail or whatever lol, I'm not ready to be finished until you're stopped breathing so I know that I'm going to prison you stupid f****** hooker I can't wait to see your lifeless ugly f************ body’

“At 0157 hours:
‘I had so much built-up anger pen to Bangor and frustration in my head I don't know how to let go of it I don't know what I'm going to do I've been walking around and dark for 6 hours for the first time ever I feel like God is performing my shoulders and I can bear, and I feel like I'm going to snap’”

he became upset and broke all of her plants and flowers because he paid for them

After that, the detective wrote, “I returned to the police department to interview Marine once again about the incident at [the victim]'s residence. Marine admitted to being at [the victim]'s residence because he wanted to retrieve some property that he left at her residence. Marine stated that he tried calling and texting [the victim] but she blocked him, so he began emailing her.

“Marine provided me with [the victim]'s email address, but he refused to provide me with his email address and stated that he did not remember it. Marine stated that he knocked on [the victim]'s door repeatedly and called [the victim] but [the victim] did not answer him, so he became upset and broke all of her plants and flowers because he paid for them. Marine stated that he tried the doorknob to see if the door was open, but he denied trying to break into the residence. When asked why he had the tools with him, Marine stated that he has used his tools to enter the residence before, but he realized that he had the wrong tools with him tonight when he went to the residence.”

Benjamin Marine, 32, is charged with burglary, criminal mischief, intimidation, and loitering.

He was booked on Sept. 25 at 9:56 a.m. and denied bond. He has been staying at the West Detention Center.

Marine was arrested by Boca Raton police in January and held for a day, on an out-of-county warrant.

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