NJ robber followed countless women home from stores, cops say
HOWELL — A township man has been charged with following two women home from the grocery store in an attempt to rob them — and possibly more.
Authorities also believe Tristan Reyes, 19, has followed other women from Freehold Raceway Mall, although police did not say that he victimized any of them.
Reyes was arrested Friday after a search for a suspect in a black van who showed up Thursday afternoon at a Ramtown section home, attempting to break in while a woman unloaded groceries.
The man, disguised in a hood and ski mask, never got the chance after the 38-year-old woman’s Rottweiler ran out of the home and chased him back to his van.
Police said the robber was captured by the home’s surveillance camera lurking around the house and peering into an open garage door. The footage also shows the man hiding behind his van when the woman comes out of the house.
Police believe it was Reyes who also followed an 18-year-old township woman home from ShopRite on Feb. 24.
The woman told police that she noticed a black van following her car, a suspicion she confirmed by taking unnecessary turns. When she pulled over, the van also pulled over and turned off its lights, police said.
The woman called her father, who tried to confront the man in the street, but he took off, police said.
Investigators say Reyes intended to rob both women at knifepoint.
Police on Thursday night publicly released security images of the van and the suspect, which were widely shared on social media.
Police said they learned that Reyes has followed other women around stores and back to their cars at Freehold Raceway Mall.
He was charged Friday with first-degree robbery and third-degree weapons offenses. He was being held at Monmouth County jail and New Jersey 101.5 did not know Friday evening whether he had an attorney who could speak for him.
Howell police released Reyes’ photo — something the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office usually does not allow police departments to do — in an attempt to find other possible victims.
Authorities ask anyone with information to contact Howell Police Detective Corporal Nancy Carroll at (732) 938-4575 ext. 2182 or (732) 938-4111, or write the anonymous tip line at www.p3tips.com
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