Dayton man arrested in Travelodge robbery

By Darrell Wacker -

VANDALIA — Vandalia police have arrested Divonti L. Preston, 25, of Dayton, in connection with a robbery at the Travelodge on Poe Avenue early Tuesday morning.

Preston is being held in the Montgomery County Jail pending formal charges.

According to the incident report, the man demanded money from the hotel’s desk clerk after asking for towels and forcing his way into the door that led to the front counter area. He threatened to shoot her if she didn’t comply.

After she gave him cash, he ran out the main entry doors and fled on foot while stripping to his underwear in an apparent bid to throw off any K-9 units that might respond.

Vandalia, Dayton, and Butler Township police began a search which included a Dayton K-9 unit. The K-9 track led around the Travelodge and the Knights Inn continuously which led officers to believe the suspect was still on property.

Preston then emerged from behind a dumpster where he was forced to the ground and taken into custody. After his arrest, the victim identified Preston as the man who robbed the hotel. Police also found a large amount of money in the front of his underwear.

Preston claimed that he believed he was sexually assaulted at the hotel but couldn’t remember details. After being taken to police headquarters he was uncooperative as a victim and refused to participate in a sexual assault examination.

Preston also told police he didn’t remember any robbery.

Vandalia police will present prosecutors with the case to request formal charges.

By Darrell Wacker

Reach Darrell Wacker at 937-684-8983 or on Twitter @VandaliaDrummer.

Reach Darrell Wacker at 937-684-8983 or on Twitter @VandaliaDrummer.