Tom Brady’s beloved Super Bowl LI jersey, said to be worth $500,000, went missing from the locker room while Brady and his team celebrated their historic comeback.
The win earned Brady his fifth Super Bowl title, and he was keeping his jersey as a piece of memorabilia. Unfortunately, the jersey was snatched out of Brady’s gym bag when he wasn’t looking. Here’s the reaction on camera:
For almost two months, the FBI and other law enforcement agencies looked for the jersey.
On March 20, 2017, it was revealed that the jersey had been found in Mexico. The NFL released this statement as a result of the findings:
— Brian McCarthy (@NFLprguy) March 20, 2017
According to USA Today, Brady’s Super Bowl LI jersey and his Super Bowl XLIX jersey were reportedly found with credentialed press member Mauricio Ortega of Mexican newspaper La Prensa.
Ortega was the director of the tabloid, but resigned from his position last week citing personal issues. La Prensa said in a statement that recent information stating Ortega is allegedly responsible for taking Brady’s jerseys came as a complete surprise to the publication.
— The Boston Globe (@BostonGlobe) March 21, 2017
It is also alleged that Ortega may be responsible for swiping the helmet that Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller wore in Super Bowl 50.
Fox Sports 1 released security footage that shows the suspect walking into the locker room and then leaving with the jersey allegedly rolled up under his left arm.
The video, which aired on “The Herd with Colin Cowherd,” shows players and other personnel walking in and out of the locker room as well. Nobody even bats an eye as the man walks in and out.
The suspect, believed to be Ortega, actually walks in just six people behind Patriots head coach, Bill Belichick.Screenshot/Fox Sports 1
Despite Ortega’s full identity being released, executive assistant U.S. attorney Jennifer Lowery told USA Today in an email that they are still investigating the authenticity of the jerseys before any charges are brought forth:
“The matter is currently still under investigation, therefore, I cannot confirm the person you listed below as being involved.”
However, Houston police chief Art Acevedo, admitted to reporters that he is confident that the jerseys found are the ones they have been looking for.
In a statement released by his agent, Brady thanked all of those involved with helping him find his keepsakes:
“I am happy my jersey from SB 49 and SB 51 have been recovered, and I want to thank all of the law enforcement agencies involved. I know they worked hard on this case — and it is very much appreciated. Hopefully when I get the jerseys back I can make something very positive come from this experience.”
If the jersey is determined to be authentic, Fox Sports reports that because it is valued at $500,000, it would be considered a first-degree felony.