Mendocino County Sheriff's Office
Press Release
(Title of Crime/Incident) 459 PC [Burglary], 148.5 PC [False Reporting of a Crime]
Report Number:
2014-2279 / 2014-2313    
Coroner Number:
459 PC [Burglary], 148.5 PC [False Reporting of a Crime]
45000 block of Main Street, Mendocino Ca.
When: Date: 01-26-2014 Time: 4:00 AM
Victim Info :        
  Name Age Street Address City, State
Victim #1: Mendocino Hotel Mendocino, Ca.
Victim #2: People of the State of California
Suspect Info:        
  Name Age Street Address City, State
Suspect #1: Joseph Preuss 35 Mendocino, Ca.
Written by: Sergeant Joseph Comer
Synopsis: On 01/27/2014 at about 4:00 AM, Deputies were dispatched to the Mendocino Hotel in Mendocino regarding an unidentified suspect who entered an occupied hotel room through a window. The suspect was confronted by the occupants of the room and immediately fled outside through the same window.

After Deputies arrived and initiated their investigation, they recovered a cellular phone at the scene that was believed to belong to, and was accidentally dropped by, the suspect. Deputies also spoke to an employee at the Mendocino Hotel who identified Joseph Preuss as a subject who was present at the Mendocino Hotel just before the incident took place.

On 01/27/2014 at about 2:12 PM, Deputies contacted Preuss for follow up investigation. Preuss told Deputies that he had been robbed at knife point by an unknown transient at about 2:30 AM on 01/27/2014 near the Mendocino Hotel. Preuss provided several details about the incident, including that his cellular phone was stolen during the encounter. Deputies subsequently took a crime report and initiated a separate investigation into the robbery reported by Preuss.

During contact with Preuss, Deputies observed that the tread pattern on Preussí shoes were similar to a muddy shoe print pattern left inside the hotel room by the unidentified suspect. This led to the Deputies suspicion that Preuss was the perpetrator of the hotel room entry and that Preussí claim of being robbed was fabricated in order to account for his found cellular phone.

On 01/30/2014, Deputies served a search warrant at Preussí residence and seized potential evidence relating to the hotel room entry. Additional information has been developed and the Mendocino County District Attorney is prosecuting Preuss for violations of 602.5(a) PC [Trespass Occupied Residence] and 148.5(a)[False Report of a Crime].
Approved By: Lieutenant Greg Stefani