February 10, 2016

Police Apprehend Olin Laptop Thief

Print More

Kelsey McBean, the son of Tompkins County legislator Leslyn McBean-Clairborne (D-1st Ward), was arrested Wednesday for attempting to steal a laptop from Olin Library, according to the Cornell University Police crime log.

At 5:35 p.m. Tuesday, McBean sprinted from the library with the stolen laptop, entering McGraw clock tower. According to one witness, he was seen carrying a knife.

Police removed McBean from the tower approximately 20 minutes later and he was referred to Ithaca City Court, according to the crime log.

Legislator McBean-Clairborne is the director of the Greater Ithaca Activities Center. She is also the first woman of color to be elected to her executive level, according to the Tompkins County legislature website.

McBean’s father, J.R. Clairborne, was previously a member of the Ithaca Common Council and ran for mayor against Mayor Svante Myrick ’09 in 2011.
Police previously arrested McBean in 2013 after an altercation in which he threatened a man with a knife and stole his cell phone, according to an Ithaca Police Department press release.

  • F. Kaye Westfall

    Re: Feb.11th article by Stephanie Yan:

    It is in very poor taste and low-class journalism to furnish information concerning the parents of one who is arrested.
    Mentioning previous arrest is not something that should be done ; the police should have known better than to furnish you with this information so you could plaster it to the public.

    • JG

      There is more information here about his parents than the crime the gentleman is alleged to have committed. Agree with previous poster. The article adds nothing of substantial value. Thanks for letting us know he has parents who probably love him and work in the community. Big deal.

      • m h

        Hmm. Did we learn anything about Wolfgang Ballinger’s parents in the Sun’s reporting on his alleged crime? Did we learn anything about his background? Did we do an investigation into prep-school or New York City police reports of previous unseemly behavior?

  • J. R.

    Kudos to Stephanie Yan for being a good journalist. Please ignore the two whiners in the comments who care more about the criminal than the victim/the public.

    • JG

      what posts were you reading? Nobody is whining. Just tell me what happened, who saw it, what witnesses observed, and how to protect myself. News. Not gossip. That would be protecting the public. Knowing about his parents doesn’t.

  • Nw

    Poor journalism indeed! Yan focuses more on his parents than the crime or the accused. What was the purpose of mentioning his parents and their careers in this article other than to shame and embarass them?

  • Dan

    Thank you for describing the crime. And yes his family does matter. The New York Times and Washington Post also mention family and friends of accused and convicted criminals when known.

    Though he is from a well connected family if he is found guilty he must not be treated specially. It would amount to enabling him, not helping him. If he carries a knife while commiting thefts he is a serious danger to the public and himself. He may get stabbed or shot while brandishing his knife.

    Example of NYTimes naming politician father of shoplifter, no knife involved:


    Found guilty: