After almost two months of searching, the mystery of Tom Brady’s Super Bowl jersey is close to being solved. In a flurry of events, the FBI has announced that the jersey turned up in a foreign country, while surveillance video of the alleged thief hits the internet. Perhaps more shocking than where it was found is who had it and what was discovered with it.
The FBI office in Boston now has Tom Brady’s missing jersey from the 2017 Super Bowl in its possession. The FBI, working alongside the Houston Police Department, relied on a tip from an informant and eventually tracked down Brady’s valuable missing uniform item.
Surprisingly, the item was found in Mexico with another of the quarterback’s jerseys from the 2015 Super Bowl win over the Seattle Seahawks. What’s more, the NFL has said the jersey was in “possession of a credentialed member of the international media.” A Mexican newspaper company, the Mexican Editorial Organization, said on Twitter a short time later that a former executive from tabloid Diario La Prensa was involved in the case.
Sports analyst Jay Glazer appeared on FS1 today with more information, including newly released video from the Super Bowl locker room where the jersey went missing. In the video, Glazer says that the suspect can be seen entering and exiting the locker room with obvious haste. However, he does stress that the person is just a suspect at this time.
The man in question is Mauricio Ortega, and it is thought that he may also be in possession of Von Miller’s helmet, which went missing after the 2016 Super Bowl.
The man in question is Mauricio Ortega, whose paper will be releasing a statement shortly. https://t.co/NrYUGYw18I
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 20, 2017
If proven to be the actual jersey thief, this man could face a severe punishment. Texas law defines penalties for theft that vary depending on value. SI.com reports:
For example, a stolen item worth between $500 and $1,499 is punishable by up to one year in jail as a misdemeanor offense. But if the stolen item is worth between $1,500 and $19,999, the thief can be charged with a felony and face up to two years in prison. A stolen item worth between $20,000 and $99,999 is a felony of the third degree under Texas law and is punishable by up to 10 years in prison. The maximum prison sentence increases to 20 years if the stolen item is worth between $100,000 and $199,999. What about a stolen item worth $200,000 or more? In Texas, a thief of such a high-value item has committed a felony in the first degree and faces between 5 years and 99 years—yes, 99 years—in prison.
Nearly 100 years in prison? It is possible that Brady’s famous jersey is worth enough to make that happen after all of the media attention, but only time will tell.
Other questions remain, of course, chief among them: Why would someone steal these items and then hang on to them? Something tells me that this crazy story is not quite over yet.