Athens Review, Athens, Texas

Local News

August 29, 2013

Area man gives plea

Clowdus gets 10-year sentence

Athens — On Thursday, Steven Joe Clowdus, 31, formerly of Mabank, pled to the maximum sentence of 10 years in prison for the Placement of a Serial Number with Intent to Change the Identity of a Vehicle. The plea took place in the 173rd Judicial District Court with Judge Dan Moore presiding.

Assistant District Attorney Justin Weiner prosecuted the case on behalf of Scott McKee’s District Attorney’s Office.

“This case is an excellent example of how different law enforcement agencies in our county work together to fight crime,” Weiner said. “The tireless efforts and dedication by the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office and the Texas Department of Public Safety ensured that justice was done.”

On Nov. 13, 2012, Clowdus and a female passenger were found asleep in a Dodge pickup truck parked on a public street.  Bryan Tower, a captain at the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office, noticed that the vehicle was bearing a fictitious vehicle registration sticker, as well as a possibly fictitious vehicle inspection certificate.

Even more out-of-place was the vehicle identification number plate, which was not properly aligned on the dash.  This prevented the numbers from being properly displayed through the windshield.  When questioned, both individuals provided false names, but were ultimately identified as Amber Schlicht and Steven Clowdus. 

They both were arrested by the Sheriff’s Office for giving false names and for public intoxication.  Clowdus also had a pending warrant for burglary of a habitation.

Agent Richard Fulton of the Texas Department of Public Safety Regulatory Crimes was called in to assist in the investigation.  Upon investigation, Fulton quickly observed that the federal safety label, which is permanently affixed by the manufacturer of the vehicle, had been removed.  This is usually done so that individuals can tamper with the vehicular identification number.

Further investigation revealed that Clowdus had wrecked his Dodge pickup truck and had stolen a similar truck.  The truck that Clowdus was driving that day had been placed on the side of the road with a “for sale sign.” 

Clowdus simply stole that vehicle, which closely resembled his own damaged vehicle and replaced all the information. Clowdus’ wrecked vehicle was ultimately found and all the identifying information had been removed.

According to McKee, the black market for stolen vehicles and vehicles with fictitious identification markers is a major problem in Texas.  According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, Texas ranks second only to California in the number of auto thefts that are reported each year. 

McKee stated that many vehicles that are stolen are taken by professionals who drive them onto ships that are heading overseas or to a “chop shop” where cars are dismantled and sold on the black market for parts. 

The National Insurance Crime Bureau listed the Honda Accord, Honda Civic and Ford pickups as the top three vehicles stolen in 2012. 

“People need to be vigilant about the security of their cars and trucks,”  said McKee.  “Never leave your vehicle unlocked.  Even if you are going to be away from it for just a few minutes, lock your doors and take your keys.” 

 

1
Text Only
Local News
  • ADR logo.tif Third elementary school to replace Athens Intermediate School

    The Athens Independent School District school board approved campus realignment Monday that will go into effect for the 2015-16 school year.
    While full details of the plan are still being discussed, the district unanimously approved adding a third elementary school, while doing away with the intermediate level.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • DSC_0128.JPG Laying Splash Pad bricks

    Workmen from Rosenberg’s Outdoor Designs of Athens are shown installing bricks purchased by individuals, businesses and other organizations at the Kiwanis Park Splash Pad.  Shown, left to right, are: Nick Rosenberg, owner of the company; Jonathan Perez and Gutierrez Concepcion.
     

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADR logo.tif Burton’s severance approved

    The Athens City Council on Monday narrowly approved a budget amendment from reserves, to fund a severance package for City Administrator Pam Burton who is retiring at the end of 2014.
    Mayor Jerry Don Vaught and council members Monte Montgomery and Tres Winn entered yes votes, while Joe Whatley and Charles Elliott opposed the adjustment.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADR logo.tif Sanders readies proposed budget

    Henderson County Judge Richard Sanders has his proposed budget ready for submission, with the numbers reflecting revenues slightly above last year.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADR logo.tif Academically-weighted courses discussed at CRISD meeting

    A concern about how elective courses in the Cross Roads Independent School District are academically-weighted was discussed at Monday night's school board meeting to determine a student's class rank.
    The board of trustees decided to let the issue extend to a further meeting to work on rewording the change in the student handbook.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • DSC_0127.JPG McDonald’s coming to Mabank

    The corner of North First Street and North Third Street in Mabank is about to look a lot different as a construction crew broke ground Monday.
    A formal ceremonial groundbreaking will be held within the next week to welcome McDonald's to the location just off of Highway 175.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADR logo.tif Funeral held for 15-year-old drowned Eustace student

    Funeral services were held on Sunday for a 15-year-old Eustace student who drowned Thursday evening after diving into Cedar Creek Lake.
    The Henderson County Sheriff’s Office investigated the drowning. According to reports, a medical emergency call came to 9-1-1 shortly after 5 p.m. from Timber Bay in the Payne Springs area.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • 7-29 PSCA open house.jpg PSCA seeks new student enrollment

    “Striving to make a difference in each child for eternity,” reads the motto of one local private school seeking new enrollment.
    Payne Springs Christian Academy is looking to enroll new students for the 2014-2015 school year.
    “We are in need of some kids this year,” said Amanda Beets, a mother of one of the school's current students.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADR logo.tif Lightfoot-Miller Cemetery to dedicate historical marker

    The Texas Historical Commission, Henderson County Historical Commission and descendants of those who are buried in the Lightfoot-Miller Cemetery invite the public to the dedication of a historical marker at the property.
    The observance is set for 10 a.m. on Aug. 2.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • 7-29 HCHS.jpg ‘Party for the Paws’ event great success

    The Henderson County Humane Society in Athens as well as  Beckham are continuing to celebrate results of the Party For The Paws fundraiser.  Beckham is a dog that was recently adopted from the HCHS.
    HCHS Treasurer Ellen Barton commends those who were involved in the event’s planning and execution. 

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo