Howell man sentenced to prison for attempted robberies, attempted burglary

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A Howell man has been sentenced to 15 years on charges of attempted armed robbery and attempted burglary in connection with incidents in Howell and Jackson, Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni announced.

On April 18, Tristan Reyes, 20, was sentenced by state Superior Court Judge Richard W. English, sitting in Freehold, to 15 years in state prison for two first degree attempted armed robberies and one third degree attempted burglary.

Reyes had previously entered a guilty plea on Feb. 19 before English. His sentence is subject to the provisions of the No Early Release Act, which means he must serve 85 percent of his sentence before he becomes eligible for release on parole.

Once Reyes is released from prison, he will be on parole supervision for five years, Gramiccioni said.

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

During his plea, Reyes admitted he followed three women to their homes after observing the women, whom he did not know, in local stores. Reyes was planning to rob the women while he was armed with a knife, however, his efforts were thwarted before he could assault the women.

In one instance, after following a Jackson woman home, Reyes went to the front door and pretended to need to use a phone. He was surprised to find the woman’s 20-year-old daughter at home and fled the scene, according to the prosecutor.

On another occasion in Howell, Reyes followed an 18-year-old woman around a grocery store and then to her residence. The woman realized she was being followed and called her father for help.

After trying numerous maneuvers with her car to get away from the van Reyes was driving, the woman drove home and her father pulled his car out to block any further pursuit. The driver of the van made a U-turn and drove away, according to Gramiccioni.

In a third instance, Reyes followed a woman as she shopped at several stores and then followed her to her residence. He was observed on video surveillance peering inside her home’s open garage door until the woman’s dog exited the garage. At that time Reyes retreated to his vehicle and fled the scene.

Reyes was arrested by Howell police on March 9, 2018 after he and his vehicle were identified through store surveillance tapes, according to the prosecutor.