WEST CALDWELL, NJ - West Caldwell Chief of Police Michael J. Bramhall announced that, after a long investigative process, Detective Brian Joy has determined that the Radio Shack incident on Tuesday, Oct. 8 was in fact a faked robbery.
The initial investigation was by Patrol Officer Kristin Maier.
Police had responded to the retail store, located at 770 Bloomfield Avenue, at 9:30 p.m. that evening immediately after receiving a call from a store employee stating that he had just been robbed at gunpoint. The story the employee told police was that, while he was in the rear of the store taking out the garbage, someone dressed all in black and wearing a full ski mask and black hood had approached him and used a gun to demand store merchandise and the register cash.
Police began searching the surrounding area, including all around the lot at Essex County College, searching for the armed subject who was believed to be on foot.
As the detective later surmised, the caller - Dawin Estrella, 18, from Paterson - had lied about the entire incident. He had even gone so far as to intentionally damage the store backroom area in an attempt to make it appear convincing. All of this was to conceal Estrella himself had reportedly taken cash and merchandise.
Estrella's lying to the police and faking a robbery resulted in the following charges and summonses being issued against him:
False Police Report
- Obstruction of Justice