Two USC journalism students arrested in jersey thefts at NFL draft

NFL: APR 28 2023 Draft
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Two USC journalism students covering the NFL draft for the student news outlet instead made news themselves.

The Kansas City Police Department arrested Eric Lambkins II and Jude Ocañas in the theft of more than $1,000 worth of first-round draft pick jerseys, the Los Angeles Times reports.

The students worked for the student-run multiplatform news outlet known as Annenberg Media, which operates under the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.

The students were seen on video surveillance entering an area they were not credentialed at 1:20 a.m. Friday, according to the Kansas City Police Department. Lambkins held a bag in the talent waiting room, and the two men left five minutes later with the bag looking “fuller,” per the police report.

The NFL reported a 49ers jersey, a Cowboys jersey and a Vikings jersey missing. All had the number 1 printed on the back but with no player names.

Police recovered the Cowboys and 49ers jerseys in a search of the students’ baggage after arresting them as they boarded a plane back to Los Angeles.

Lambkins is a a graduate student who has covered sports the past two years for the Culver City Observer and the Good News Radio and is a U.S. Army veteran. Ocañas is an undergraduate journalism major, according to USC Annenberg Media.

The USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism paid for the students’ trip.

“While limited by student privacy laws in what we can share, we are cooperating with the authorities in this matter and will follow our internal processes with respect to any allegations of misconduct,” USC told the LA Times in a statement.

49 responses to “Two USC journalism students arrested in jersey thefts at NFL draft

  1. People don’t realize that when the NFL investigates they don’t hire $7.50 an hour guards at Walmart. The NFL hires ex F.B.I., C.I.A, ex professional law enforcement-it wouldn’t surprise me if they also had some ATF on their payroll.

  2. The NFL should ban these two individuals from ever receiving credentials again to any NFL event.

    The theft alone is bad enough, but then to be a credentialed media member and still do that?

    The journalism school should expel them as well.

  3. Nothing like throwing your education and career away for something you could buy for $250.

  4. They should have waited until they covered a Super Bowl and got locker room access.

  5. Well looks like these two have just thrown their futures away.

  6. A blank jersey is worth $333? Those dudes better thank their lucky stars they didn’t have names on them. Prolly $50 a letter.

  7. They need to go to jail. They make entire media access to anywhere in question. That is just wrong. This was not a prank. Send a message. YOU JUST CAN’T DO THIS !

  8. What an incredibly stupid thing to do. They just gave their school and their profession a huge black eye. Hopefully they’ll be expelled and prosecuted.

  9. Journalists and yet they don’t know cameras are everywhere these days

  10. I was going to say this sounds like something you would do as a dumb young person but it says that one of the accused is a military veteran. So he’s old enough to know that you don’t poke a sleeping bear. The NFL is on them so fast they didn’t even make it onto the plane before they were cooked.

  11. USC Students and former students have a history of stealing sports memorabilia…

  12. You have to feel for the parents in situations like this, sons off to university and now criminals. What a waste for some stupid jerseys.

  13. Jesus, they are just kids and some stupid jerseys. Give them a break

  14. Yet it takes the NFL 3 years to “investigate” Sleazy Dan Snyder. Does ANYBODY really think the NFL will release the latest investigation after Snyder leaves? It will never happen. They’d rather take a one-news cycle hit to their integrity than a multi-week hit to their behavior.

  15. Of course it was USC. You wouldn’t find that type of behavior in a Big 10 school.

  16. They forgot they weren’t in California where they wouldn’t bother to get prosecuted.

    since he STOLE TOM BRADY’s JERSEYS AND LIED ON A Mexican media guy and he took the fall for it

  18. I get the Niners and Cowboys jersey. But the Vikings? Might get them a cup of bad gas station coffee.

  19. Each face Burglary 2nd Degree, Stealing, and a misdemeanor count of Trespass 1st Degree. The school paid for their trip, so I’d think this would be covered under student misconduct and they won’t be attending USC again.

  20. To bad they didn’t commit the thefts in San Francisco, it would be a non-issue.

  21. Tom Brady says:
    May 5, 2023 at 8:52 am

    Of course it was USC. You wouldn’t find that type of behavior in a Big 10 school.

    Clearly you`ve never been to Ohio State

  22. I want to see the “sinking stomach” look on their faces when the luggage got checked.

  23. There is video everywhere now. You’d think that would have occurred to these dummies.

  24. USC isn’t cheap. They probably have 6 figures worth of student loans to pay back for a career they now have no future in whatsoever. Brilliant.

  25. The article on the USC student run media page (Annenberg) makes these guys out to be saints and that this is all a big misunderstanding with statements from their lawyer. Why would they go to bat for these guys? Embarassing. These guys should be expelled and never mentioned by USC again.

  26. What a couple of knuckleheads. They will pay for this mistake the rest of their lives for a couple of blank NFL jerseys. Can’t fix stupid. From journalist to prison cook. Parents will be so proud.

  27. If true, those are some really bad decisions on the part of the students. But it’s hard to miss the contrast between these two being arrested and likely having their entire career futures derailed for doing something that didn’t hurt anyone, and Jalen Carter being an active participant in the reckless deaths of two people and then lying about it, and having a leading NFL franchise fall all over themselves in eagerness to make him a mega-millionaire.

    The confluence of sports and ungodly amounts of money is only going to get uglier, and it’s already ugly.

  28. I think there was an opportunity to provide a lesson here, without ruining their lives…sort of like when they pull kids in the back office for shoplifting. But, that’s just me speaking as a parent.

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