Two of Tom Brady’s Super Bowl jerseys were found in Mexico, and the same thief may have also taken a Von Miller helmet.
Mauricio Ortega, former director of the Mexican publication La Prensa, has been accused in Mexican media of being the suspect, although authorities have not identified the culprit nor announced any arrest.
Brady jerseys from the 2015 and 2017 Super Bowls were recovered, TMZ reports, adding that Von Miller’s helmet was located in Mexico too. “Sources connected to the investigation tell us 2 Patriots jerseys and 1 Broncos helmet were recovered in Mexico,” the site reported.
Houston police revealed on Twitter March 20 that the 2017 Super Bowl jersey was found.
“Major Offenders Division traced Brady Jersey to Mexico & it has been recovered with help of FBI & Mexican authorities,” Chief Art Acevedo said on Twitter, adding that he was proud of Houston police.
The jersey was found in the possession of “a credential member of the international media,” the NFL said in a statement on Twitter, adding that the second Brady jersey was also recovered.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. The NFL Says Two of Brady’s Jerseys Were Recovered in the Operation & One Reporter Says Von Miller’s Helmet & Cleats Went Missing Too
The NFL said in a statement that authorities, including the FBI and NFL security teams, recovered two jerseys – the one that Brady wore in the 2017 Super Bowl during the New England Patriots’ victory, and a Brady Super Bowl jersey from 2015.
According to tweets from Mexican media, “Tom Brady’s Jersey was located in a house in Atizapan de Zaragoza.”
Mauricio Ortega was named in Mexican media as the international media member accused of stealing the Brady jerseys.
The tweet above alleges in Spanish, “Mauricio Ortega ‘former director’ of La Prensa was who stole #Brady jerseys and more! #Rata #Ladron #NFL.”
Tom Brady released a statement, saying he hoped something positive could come out of it all:
The name was released in Mexican media after Houston police and the NFL confirmed that two of Brady’s Super Bowl jerseys were found on March 20. The same suspect is accused in the media of also possessing Von Miller’s helmet, according to TMZ. Authorities have not yet released the suspect’s name, and there is no word of an arrest.
“Mauricio Ortega was dismissed a few days ago when they learned that he stole the Tom Brady jersey,” reported Beatriz Pereyra, a reporter for Proceso. Pereyra identified the suspect as “the director of the newspaper La Prensa, Mauricio Ortega. He had Brady jersey.”
Another tweet said, “Tom Brady jerseys were found in a house in Atizapan de Zaragoza on March 12 by @PGR_AIC, Interpol Mexico and @PoliciaFedMx.”
“The league also recovered a Tom Brady jersey worn in New England’s Super Bowl XLIX win over the Seahawks during the operation,” reported NFL.com. It was not previously known that the earlier jersey was missing.
Jay Glazer of Fox Sports wrote on Twitter: “Sources say authorities investigating if same suspect took Von Millers helmet and/or cleats from last years Super Bowl.”
The cleats were not yet found, says TMZ.
Glazer tweeted, “More breaking news, confirmed authorities are in fact investigating if same suspect stole V Miller’s HELMET from last years Super Bowl @NFLonFOX.”
Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick had previously asked the Texas Rangers to assist the Houston Police Department in finding Tom Brady’s missing 2017 Super Bowl jersey, saying in a statement that it has historical value and was “stolen” after the historic game.
Read more about Ortega here:
2.The Thief May Be Captured on Video & The Jersey Was Called the ‘Most Valuable NFL Collectable Ever’
TMZ says the suspect was captured on video. You can watch the video here.
According to TMZ, Glazer also reported that “investigators saw the suspect enter the locker room behind Bill Belichick and leave a short time later with something tucked under his arm” and video footage helped identify him.
The jersey is now valued at $500,000.
Patrick, the Texas lieutenant governor, said the jersey has been called the “most valuable NFL collectable ever.”
According to ESPN, an NFL spokesman as saying, “We have been looking into this disappointing matter and will continue to assist law enforcement authorities,” and estimated the jersey’s value could be around $500,000.
3. Video Captured Brady Looking For His Lost Jersey
On Super Bowl night, Brady was captured on video telling New England Patriots’ owner Robert Kraft that someone took his Super Bowl 51 jersey. He was still saying it was gone the day after the game.
WMTW-TV has a transcript of the Kraft-Brady conversation about the jersey. The television station reported that Kraft entered the locker room “to deliver victory cigars to the team,” and went up to Brady.
“Someone stole my game jersey,” Brady tells Kraft.
“You better look online,” Kraft responded.
The jersey is iconic because the Brady-led victory was; the star QB engineered a stunning comeback in overtime after a dismal first half that had many people counting the Patriots out.
4. Brady Lamented That the Jersey Might End Up on E-Bay
In the locker room scene, Brady is seen wearing a T-shirt. On the way to the team bus, Brady still thought the jersey had vanished.
“While Brady walked to the team bus, a reporter asked the quarterback if he had recovered the jersey. Brady said he hadn’t and added: ‘Yeah, it’s going to be on eBay at some point,” according to The Associated Press.
5. Authorities Are Authenticating the Recovered Jerseys
According to ESPN, authorities on March 20 were working to authenticate the jerseys they recovered.
Early reports on the jersey were confusing. An early report said Brady’s jersey was not stolen after all. Rather, a diligent equipment manager locked it up so it couldn’t be stolen, that report says. However, it turned out that the jersey was in fact stolen.
Relive a key play in the game here, when the Patriots started to turn it around against the Atlanta Falcons: