Stolen football with Jerry Rice signature returned to police

Stolen football with Jerry Rice signature returned to police

Patrick Van Lam

MILPITAS — The Milpitas Police Department has announced the arrest of a suspect in the theft of a signed football from a fundraiser dinner to help kids with special needs. According to Milpitas Police Sergeant Steven Fox, “On April 9, 2017, the Koi Palace restaurant, located at 768 Barber Lane in Milpitas, hosted a fund raising dinner event benefiting orphaned children in China with special needs.”

The fundraiser was highly publicized for the theft through media outlets. Fox said, “A guest at the event purchased a football, autographed by Hall of Fame football player Jerry Rice, for $3,500.”  But it wasn’t until after the dinner event that the football went missing.

Milpitas Police arrested one suspect on April 15, 2017, identified as 45-year-old Patrick Van Lam. Fox said, “On April 15, 2017, Suspect Patrick Lam became aware his image was captured on camera and shown publicly by local news media outlets”  That is when Lam decided he would come into the police station and self-surrender with the football he had stolen.

Lam was booked into the Santa Clara County Main Jail for burglary and grand theft.

Milpitas Police, however, are still interested in two other individuals who where with Lam at the same table the night he stole the football, and are continuing to ask for their identification in hopes of arresting a second suspect who was seen helping Lam take the football.

Anyone with any information regarding the investigation, suspects, or persons of interest is encouraged to call the Milpitas Police Department at (408) 586-2400. Additionally, information can be given anonymously by calling the Crime Tip Hotline at (408) 586-2500 or via the Milpitas Police Department website at:

Stolen football with Jerry Rice signature returned to police was last modified: April 19th, 2017 by admin
Categories: Santa Clara

About Author

Amy Nilson

Amy L. Nilson is a freelance journalist specializing in criminal and environmental matters. She has over 5+years experience writing investigative reports, featured journal articles, and has taken on writing fiction and non-fiction prose. She writes for CrimeVoice,, and other news publications. She may be reached at for any comments or suggestions, you might have.