A Howell man admitted in court to following three women home from stores in Monmouth and Ocean counties last year with plans to rob them at knifepoint.

Tristan Reyes, 20, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to two counts of first-degree attempted armed robbery and one count of third-degree attempted burglary before Superior Court Judge Richard English in Freehold Borough.

Reyes faces 15 years in state prison when sentenced this spring.

The charges stem from three separate incidents in February and March of 2018 in Howell and Jackson. In each case, Reyes saw a female victim shopping alone in a local store, trailed the woman inside the store and then followed her vehicle home.

Reyes admitted in court 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 stopped before any of the victims were injured.

Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni said in one instance, Reyes followed a Jackson woman home, where he approached the front door and asked to use a 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, Reyes followed an 18-year-old female, who called her father after she grew suspicious that a minivan had been following her home from the grocery store. After trying to lose the van, the victim drove home and her father pulled his car out to block any further pursuit. Reyes made a U-turn and drove away.

In the third instance, Reyes, disguised in a hood and ski mask, walked up a victim’s driveway and peered inside the open garage. He was chased away by the woman’s Rottweiler. The same woman's home surveillance camera caught images of Reyes lurking near his van and peering into the garage.

Reyes was arrested by Howell police on March 9 after he and his vehicle were identified through store surveillance tapes.

He remains at Monmouth County jail until his sentencing on April 18.

Under his plea agreement, Reyes is subject to provisions of the No Early Release Act, which requires that a defendant serve 85-percent of the sentence before he is eligible for parole. Reyes also would be subject to parole supervision for five years.

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