Man arrested after stealing autographed football from fundraiser

- Police arrested a man Sunday in Milpitas who turned himself in to authorities after allegedly stealing a football that was sold at auction for $3,500, police said.

According to police, 45-year-old Patrick Van Lam of San Jose surrendered after learning that his image was captured on camera and shown publicly on local media outlets.

Lam brought the football to the Milpitas Police Department and was booked into the Santa Clara County Main Jail on suspicion of burglary and grand theft, police said.

On April 9, Lam attended a fundraising dinner event at the Koi Palace restaurant located at 768 Barber Lane in Milpitas.

The event was a benefit for orphaned children with special needs in China.

At the event, a live auction took place to raise money for the children. During the auction, a guest purchased a football signed by Hall of Fame football player Jerry Rice for $3,500, police said.

When the dinner concluded, Lam and another suspect worked together to steal the football and exit the restaurant, police said.

Police are seeking the public's help in identifying the second suspect, as well as three persons of interest who were seated with Lam at the event.

Anyone with information is encouraged to call the Milpitas Police Department at (408) 586-2400. Information can be left anonymously by calling (408) 586-2500 or left through the Milpitas Police Department's website at http://www.ci.milpitas.ca.gov/crimetip.

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