Teen Fakes Robbery at West Caldwell RadioShack, Police Say

'It was just old fashioned police work' that led to his arrest, West Caldwell Police Chief Michael Bramhall said.

A teenager working at RadioShack in West Caldwell claimed a man with a gun robbed the store of money and merchandise in early October, but West Caldwell Police later discovered he faked the whole thing, according to cops.

Police arrested Dawin Estrella, of Paterson, this week for reporting a fake robbery and theft, among other crimes, according to West Caldwell Police Chief Michael Bramhall.

Estrella, 18, was working alone at RadioShack, at 770 Bloomfield Ave., on the evening of Oct. 8, according to police, when he told police he was taking out the trash behind the building when a man brandishing a gun confronted him and ordered him back into the store.

The teenager then claimed the man with the handgun robbed electronic store of cash and cellphones, according to police.

In October, police reported that a man with the gun demanded "money and electronics” and then fled the store and sped away in a van. 

Police investigation later found Estrella faked the robbery and looted the store of cash and merchandise himself, said Bramhall.

“It was just old fashioned police work,” said Bramhall. “We followed up on his story, talked with some witnesses” and discovered he was lying.

The Radio Shack is located in West Caldwell Plaza, which includes restaurants and more than a dozen other businesses. 

Police also believe Estrella colluded with other people in the robbery, but Estrella was unwilling to identify anyone else, according to police.

West Caldwell Police Officer Kristin Maier handled the initial investigation, and Det. Brian Joy did the follow-up investigation.

Estrella was charged with filing a false police report, theft, obstruction of justice and other charges. 

He is currently not being held by police while he waits for a court appearance in Newark scheduled for Jan. 23.

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