Cozad softball practice interrupted by stolen vehicle

Cozad softball practice interrupted by stolen vehicle
Courtesy/ Dawson County Sheriff’s Office. David Clifton.
September 15th, 2021 | Dave Schroeder

    Monday’s Cozad girl’s softball practice was interrupted when a man came into the area.  According to a police report and Cozad Police Officer Garrett McArdle, a vehicle was reported stolen from Bellamy Park in Cozad around 4:45pm Monday.  A male subject, believed to be a transient, was walking around the area during softball practice.  Witnesses say the man got a drink at a drinking fountain and then defecated by a tree.  The subject then got into a Buick Enclave and began to drive away.  The owner of the vehicle, from Gothenburg, attempted to stop  him but was unsuccessful.

    Officer McArdle says OnStar was contacted.  They gave the location of the vehicle and then shut it off.  The vehicle and subject was located a short time later about a mile east of Cozad on Railroad Road.   The subject, 60-year-old David Clifton of Phoenix, AZ was taken into custody without further incident.    Officer McArdle expressed his appreciation to Dawson County Sheriff’s Office and Nebraska State Patrol for their assistance.

    Clifton is suspected of being connected to a State Patrol investigation of a Kia Soul that was found Sunday night on the shoulder of the Cozad eastbound off-ramp of Interstate 80.  That vehicle was stolen from Colorado Springs, CO and abandoned at the Cozad interchange after it ran out of gas.

       Clifton was arraigned in Dawson County Court Tuesday on a Felony charge of Theft.  His bond was set at 10% of $50,000.  The public defender was appointed to represent him.  Clifton’s  next court hearing is set for September 29, 2021 at 11:00am.

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