A couple suspected of attending a New Orleans Saints game with stolen box-seat tickets bought them at the game near the gate, the man says.
Biloxi police investigators have determined the couple did not steal the tickets after interviewing the Pascagoula couple.
Lance Clemons wants his name cleared and he wants it cleared now, he said Thursday.
“I’m a government worker, and this is jeopardizing my career,” Clemons said. “This is real messed up. My wife and I go by the book. This is messing us up.”
Clemons contacted the Sun Herald after Biloxi police released a picture of him and his wife Thursday saying police wanted to talk to them about a pair of stolen Saints game tickets.
Later Thursday, Biloxi Police Maj. Christopher De Back said the couple had contacted police and were cooperating.
“It’s possible that they are innocent bystanders,” De Back said before investigators determined that was the case.
The pair of tickets were for IP Casino Resort box seats at the New York Jets game in New Orleans on Dec. 17.
The tickets were in a purse stolen from the IP early that morning, between midnight and 1 a.m. Dec. 17, De Back said.
Clemons said he and his wife Jamie had planned to buy tickets for “nose bleed” seats at the gate before the Dec. 17 game.
He said they got there about noon when they were approached near the gate by “a black man with moles on his face and dressed like he was a security guard.”
“He looked like all the other security guards,” Clemons said.
The man reportedly offered the couple a pair of tickets for $175, but Clemons said he didn’t want to spend that much. The man then offered to sell the tickets for $100, the amount Clemons says he was willing to spend.
Clemons said he didn’t realize he and his wife were in a box seat hosted by the IP.
“We just went where they told us to go,” he said.
“The bartender was real friendly. He said, ‘I haven’t seen you for a while. You still play for Tampa?’”
The bartender thought Clemons was a football player.
“We had a good time. We cut up. We took videos.”
The Saints won the game 31 to 19.
The picture police provided to the media is a picture the couple paid $20 for someone to take, Lance Clemons said.
“We’ve got the picture here at our house and our tickets are still hanging on our Christmas tree,” he said.
Someone who didn’t recognize the couple in the box seats obtained a copy of the picture and provided it to police, De Back said.
De Back said police wanted to know how the couple obtained the tickets, if they knew they were stolen and if they knew about the purse theft.
De Back said the theft remains under investigation.
If you have any information regarding the theft of the purse or the tickets, call Biloxi police at 228-435-6112.