Quick action by deputies may have averted further tragedy
Lincoln County Sheriff’s deputies responded last week to a burglary along the 1000 block of Highway J in Troy. The victim told deputies upon returning home from church they realized their home was burglarized and noticed two handguns were stolen.
The victim reported a Taurus Judge .45 caliber and a North American Arms .22 pistol were taken from their master bedroom’s vanity drawer. Homeowners also told deputies they found a hammer laying on a dresser.
On July 11, Lincoln County investigators received a call from the Warrenton Police Department regarding an armed robbery at a BP station on July 10. According to detectives, they received a tip from Tiffany Preis who identified her soon to be ex-husband, 31 year-old Joseph Raymond Preis, of Warrenton, as the suspect in the robbery of the BP station.
Investigators made contact with Preis at a residence in Warrenton. Detectives observed Preis reach for a handgun, which turned out was stolen from the residence in Troy four-days earlier. Investigators also found the Taurus Judge .45 caliber in the residence Preis’ was staying at. Detectives took Preis in custody.
Tiffany Preis said he told her he committed the robbery in Warrenton and he had planned on shooting as many cops as he could before taking his own life. He also stated he ran over someone, which was confirmed to be an active investigation through another agency.
A friend of Preis told Lincoln County investigators Preis confessed that he took the hammer on the burglary in Lincoln County and was going to beat the homeowners to death if they were home.
The friend stated Preis consistently used narcotics and had been acting “weird lately.”
“I am thankful for the investigative efforts of the detectives involved,” said Sheriff John Cottle. “I have no doubt they saved lives by quickly apprehending Mr. Preis.”
Preis is charged with first degree robbery and armed criminal action and is currently housed at the Warren County Jail on a $250,000 cash only bond. Preis also has two pending charges for burglary and theft of a firearm.
Those charged with a crime are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.