Man surrenders after theft of Jerry Rice-signed football – The Mercury News

MILPITAS — Police have arrested a man in connection with a stolen football signed by Hall of Fame football player Jerry Rice and auctioned at a charity event to help Chinese orphans.

San Jose resident Patrick Van Lam, 45, was caught on video after a live auction April 9 at the Koi Palace restaurant in Milpitas. Once Lam realized his image from the video was released to local media, he surrendered to detectives on Saturday, said Milpitas Police Sgt. Steven Fox.

San Jose resident Patrick Lam, 45, turned himself in after he stole a signed Jerry Rice football auctioned for charity
San Jose resident Patrick Lam surrendered to detectives, police said. 

Lam returned the football, police said, and was booked into Santa Clara County main jail on burglary and grand theft.

The football was auctioned for $3,500 to orphanage supporter Amy Fu. The theft happened when Fu left the football unattended at the restaurant’s front desk to take a photo, police said. Two suspects were seen grabbing the ball and taking off. The suspects were diners unassociated with the fundraising event, police said.

Officers are searching for other “persons of interest.”

The auction raised money to benefit the Prince of Peace Children’s Home in Tianjin, which funds surgery and medical care for orphans with special needs with the goal of getting them adopted.

Anyone with any information regarding the suspects or persons of interest is encouraged to call the Milpitas Police Department at (408) 586-2400. Tips can be submitted anonymously by calling the Crime Tip Hotline at (408) 586-2500 or via the Milpitas Police Department website at: http://www.ci.milpitas.ca.gov/crimetip