The jersey stolen from New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady after last month’s Super Bowl has been found. A journalist was singled out by a Mexican newspaper for the theft.
The NFL said in statement Brady’s jersey — worth an estimated $500,000 — and a second jersey worn by the quarterback at the 2015 Super Bowl were recovered in Mexico following an FBI-led probe.
A helmet believed to belong to Von Miller, the Most Valuable Player at the 2016 Super Bowl won by the Denver Broncos, was also recovered, according to US reports.
“The items were found in the possession of a credentialed member of the international media,” the NFL announced in a statement.
The credentialed journalist implicated in the theft has been identified as Mauricio Ortega, a former executive with Mexico’s Diario La Prensa. Video footage broadcast by US media outlets showed a man said to be Ortega entering the Patriots locker room shortly after the team’s epic comeback win over the Atlanta Falcons.
Several minutes later, Ortega is caught on camera exiting the locker room with an object tucked under his arm. La Prensa reacted with shock at the allegations, saying in a statement Ortega had left the newspaper in March, citing family problems. The paper said it was willing to cooperate in any investigation of the incident.
Houston police had listed Brady’s Super Bowl 51 jersey, which was missing for six weeks, as worth $500,000. The league said an FBI investigation was ongoing. A video on the NFL’s website showed Brady’s initial shock at learning his jersey was missing.
Brady expressed gratitude on Monday following the recovery of the jerseys.
“I want to thank all of the law enforcement agencies involved,” he said. “I know they worked hard on this case – and it is very much appreciated,” he said in a statement. (AFP)
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