FRESNO — Former NFL player Lorenzo Neal and Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims are seeking the public’s help in solving a string of burglaries, one of which occurred several weeks ago at Neal’s Clovis home.
The sheriff told reporters in a news conference Thursday that there are similarities connecting the eight home robberies that have taken place in Clovis since early July. The burglaries have also stretched into the more rural areas of Fresno County.
According to Mims, one similarity involves the items the suspect or suspects have targeted. Jewelry, high-end clothing, weapons, accessories and, in Neal’s case, football memorabilia have been stolen in the burglaries.
The 39-year-old Neal, who last played in 2009 with the Oakland Raiders, informed his Twitter followers that his Clovis home was broken into after returning from a family vacation in Sacramento in an Aug. 10 post.
“Today is a sad day. I just got home from Sacramento and my house was broken into. Say a prayer for me and my family,” Neal said in the tweet.
Items taken from the former National Football League fullback include NFL jerseys from his rookie year up to his time in San Diego, Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier boxing gloves, and autographed memorabilia from hall-of-fame NFL wide receiver Jerry Rice.
Neal told reporters on Thursday that he has now raised the reward for finding his stolen items from $5,000 to $20,000.
“This is our community,” said Neal, who played college football at California State University, Fresno. “And if it can happen to me, it can happen to people in Clovis and it can happen to you.”
Mims has asked the public to be on the lookout for any strange vehicles in their neighborhoods and to call any law enforcement agency if they see one.