USC students arrested after allegedly stealing 3 jerseys from 2023 NFL Draft

Two University of Southern California students were arrested in Kansas City on Friday night after police allege they trespassed during the 2023 NFL Draft and stole three jerseys from the event.

Police allege Eric Lambkins, 41, and Jude Ocañas, 19, stole around $1,050 in merchandise: a blue Dallas Cowboys jersey, a red San Francisco 49ers jersey and a Minnesota Vikings jersey — all three with the No. 1 to signify being a first-round selection, per court documents. Two of the three jerseys (the Cowboys and 49ers one) were found in their bags when they were arrested at the airport before they boarded a flight back to California.

Both were charged with second-degree burglary, first-degree trespassing and stealing of $750 or more. They each posted $2,500 bail Saturday and returned to school.

The two are students at USC's Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism and were two of the five credentialed members of the school, per the school's student-led Annenberg Media. Lambkins is a graduate student, a managing editor at Annenberg Media and a founding member of the student-led podcast, "The Talk of Troy." He is also a U.S. Army veteran. Ocañas is a freshman journalism major and broadcaster for the podcast.

The NFL Draft was held in Kansas City for the first time. (Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images)
The NFL Draft was held in Kansas City for the first time. (Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images)

Police said a burglary was reported in the "Nike Room" of the NFL Draft at Union Station in Kansas City, per court documents. Later, police say security cameras showed "a black male and a white male" leaving the Westin Hotel and walking toward the draft stage, which they later identified as Lambkins and Ocanas.

The pair then allegedly walked through an emergency exit to enter the stage area and other areas of the event, which NFL security told police was inaccessible for credentialed media. Later, Lambkins is seen "holding a bag which he was not holding previously" before the two entered the "Talent Waiting Room," which is adjacent to the "Nike Room." When they left the room, police said the bag Lambkins was holding was "fuller."

“We are confident that the unique set of circumstances in this case, combined with the extraordinary reputations of Mr. Lambkins and Mr. Ocañas, will result in a fair and equitable resolution to all parties involved," Bell said.