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Plea agreement reached with York man accused of stealing cash from disabled person in mobility chair

YORK – A plea agreement has been reached with McLean Christiansen, 30, of York, who was accused of stealing cash from a disabled person in a mobility chair.

He was in York County District Court this past week where the plea agreement was entered and he changed his plea.

Earlier, he had pleaded not guilty to abuse of a vulnerable adult, a Class 3A felony which carries a possible maximum sentence of three years in prison with 18 months of post-release supervision, and theft by unlawful taking, a Class 2 misdemeanor.

As part of the plea agreement, the first count was dismissed and he pleaded no contest to the second count.

According to the affidavit filed by the investigator with the York Police Department, a young man’s mother contacted them when it was discovered cash was missing from his backpack attached to his mobility chair.

The victim has cerebral palsy and is confined to the chair. The investigator notes, however, that he is able to enjoy certain freedoms such as taking his chair alone to a local coffee shop to purchase a drink and enjoy fellowship.

According to the affidavit with the court, the woman said when her son goes to the shop, she puts cash in his backpack which is affixed to the back of the mobility chair. She said he left the house and was going past East Hill Park when he saw Christiansen, which he knew.

The investigator notes the victim said Christiansen was vape smoking and “acting weird.” He also said Christiansen asked him if he wanted to vape but the victim declined. However, the victim said he did invite Christiansen to come with him to the coffee shop and he’d buy him a coffee. The investigator was told Christiansen then told the victim he wanted to see his cash because he didn’t believe he had any. The victim told Christiansen where the cash was, in his backpack, which Christiansen opened. Christiansen then said he wouldn’t be going with him to the coffee shop.

According to court documents, the victim’s mother said when her son arrived at the coffee shop, he called the workers on his cell phone as he always does and they open the door for him. And each time he is there, they go to his backpack, get his money and return his change to the backpack. However, this time, the cash was missing. That’s when the victim realized Christiansen had stolen his money, the officer says.

The officer said the victim “cannot use his arms and relies on his nose and head to control his chair and communicate. The one freedom he has is he is able to control his mobility device to take short trips on his own to get out of the house. This sergeant believes Christiansen exploited (the victim) and took advantage of the fact (the victim) is confined to the mobility chair and cannot use his arms or defend himself or keep people such as Christiansen from stealing from him.”

Sentencing has been set for June 18.

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