by Howell Police Department
On March 9, 2018, Tristan Reyes, 19 of Howell, was arrested by Howell Township Police Department Detective Corporal Nancy Carroll #182 and Detective Robert Ortenzi #604 and charged with two counts each of 1st degree robbery (2C:15-1a(2)), 3rd degree possession of a weapon for unlawful purposes (2C:39-4d), 3rd degree unlawful possession of a weapon and 4th degree stalking. The arrest is the result of the investigation into two incidents where Reyes stalked two women while they were shopping in Howell at various stores and followed them to their homes with the intent to rob them at knifepoint.
In the first case which occurred on February 24, 2018 at about 8pm, Reyes followed an 18 year-old female out of her car and into the Howell Shoprite. He followed the unsuspecting woman around the store. When the woman left the store, Reyes followed her to her car. When she left the parking lot in her vehicle, Reyes followed in his vehicle, described as a black van, possibly a Honda Odyssey. The woman was going home and realized the vehicle was following her closely. She began to make several unnecessary turns to see if the vehicle would continue to follow her, which it did. When she pulled over to see what the vehicle would do next, the vehicle also pulled over and shut the lights off. The van followed the woman back near her home prompting her to call her father. The woman’s father attempted to confront the driver (Reyes) in the street but he sped off.
Yesterday, March 8, 2018, at approximately noon, a 38 year old female arrived at her home in the Ramtown section of Howell. She noticed a suspicious black van parked in front of her neighbor’s home and alerted her neighbors. Moments later, the van left. The woman knew it was suspicious and checked her home’s surveillance footage which showed the black minivan followed her into the neighborhood. As the woman was unloading groceries in the open garage and going back and forth into the home, the suspect is seen on the footage wearing all black, with a hood and ski mask covering his face. He approaches the house discreetly, clearly attempting to avoid detection and identification. He lurks around the side of the house peering into the open garage door apparently waiting for an opportunity. At this time, the homeowner’s Rottweiler runs out of the home barking, causing the man to sprint off back towards his van. As the woman exits the home, the suspect (Reyes) can be seen hiding behind his van. After the woman reenters the home, Reyes gets back in the vehicle and speeds off.
As a result of an extensive investigation the suspect was identified today as Tristan Reyes. It was learned that Reyes followed the second victim from one store to another on Route 9 in Howell, then back to her home and that he was planning on robbing the two women at knife point. It was also learned that Reyes has followed other women, possibly at the Freehold Raceway Mall, around stores and back to their vehicles. In the Howell cases, he was operating a black 2004 Honda Odyssey.
After processing, Reyes was transported to Monmouth County Correctional Institute.
Typically, a defendant’s photo is not released. However, investigators are seeking additional information about Reyes’ activities and looking to identify other possible victims. We have positively identified two.
If you believe you have been a victim, or have information pertaining to these cases, please contact either Howell Police Detective Corporal Nancy Carroll at (732) 938-4575 ext. 2182 or (732) 938-4111 and ask to speak to the Officer-In-Charge. You can also private message us on our Facebook or use our anonymous reporting service www.p3tips.com or the Monmouth County Crime Stoppers’ confidential tip-line at 1-800-671-4400. Tipsters can also text “MONMOUTH” and their tip to 274637 or they can email a tip via the website at www.monmouthcountycrimestoppers.com
Detective Sergeant Jack Headley #242, Det. David Gilliland #637, Sergeant Scott Revilak #244 and Patrolman David Levine #636 assisted with the investigation along with Task Force Officers from FBI Red Bank. Our sincere gratitude to the New Jersey State Police staff at the ROIC for their quick and solid work. New Jersey State Police
The Howell Police Department expresses our gratitude to those who left comments on our social media and all who offered assistance including the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office.