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.