FREEHOLD – A Howell man pleaded guilty to charges of attempted armed robbery and attempted burglary in connection with incidents in Howell and Jackson, announced Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni.

Tristan Reyes, 20, of Howell, pleaded guilty on February 19 to two counts of first degree Attempted Armed Robbery and one count of third degree Attempted Burglary, before Monmouth County Superior Court Judge Richard W. English.

Under the terms of the plea agreement, Reyes faces a term of 15 years in New Jersey State Prison, subject to the provisions of the No Early Release Act, which requires that defendant serve 85 percent of the sentence before he is eligible for release on parole. Upon release, Reyes will be on parole supervision for a period of five years.

The charges stem from three separate incidents in February and March of 2018, in Howell and Jackson. In each of the incidents, Reyes observed a female victim shopping alone in a local store, followed the woman inside the store on foot, and ultimately drove behind her to her home.  The women ranged from 18-38 years of age.

During his plea, Reyes admitted that he did not know any of the women and that he followed them home in order to rob them while armed with a knife.  Reyes’ efforts were thwarted before any of the victims were injured.  In one instance, Reyes followed a Jackson woman home, came to her front door and entered her home, after he requested to use the phone. The woman’s 20-year old daughter answered the door and allowed him to make a call. He was surprised another person was home and fled the scene. On another occasion in Howell, an 18-year old female called her father after she grew suspicious of someone following her home from the grocery store in a minivan. After trying numerous maneuvers to lose the van, the victim drove home and her father pulled his car out to block any further pursuit. The van made a U-turn and drove away. On a third instance, Reyes walked up a victim’s driveway and peered inside the open garage. The victim’s dog exited the garage and Reyes retreated to his vehicle and ultimately fled the scene.

Reyes was ultimately arrested by the Howell Township Police on March 9, 2018 after he and his vehicle were identified through store surveillance tapes.  

Reyes is scheduled to be sentenced before Judge English on April 18, 2019. He remains incarcerated at the Monmouth County Correctional Institution pending that court proceeding.

The case is assigned to Assistant Prosecutors Emily Cartmell and William Visone.

Reyes is represented by Anthony Alfano, Esq., of Lyndhurst.