SOLVED: CASE OF BRADY’S SU­PER BOWL JER­SEY

Austin American-Statesman - - FRONT PAGE - Staff and wire re­ports

Thanks to Texas cops, Tom Brady’s Su­per Bowl jer­sey is safe

and sound in Bos­ton af­ter be­ing swiped from a sta­dium locker room in Hous­ton, au­thor­i­ties said.

The hunt for the NFL quar­ter­back’s miss­ing shirt led au­thor­i­ties to Mex­ico, where gos­sip was cir­cu­lat­ing that a for­mer news­pa­per di­rec­tor there had pil­fered the piece of sports his­tory.

The jer­sey had been stolen from a locker room at Hous­ton’s NRG Sta­dium af­ter the New Eng­land Pa­tri­ots beat the At­lanta Fal­cons in a 34-28 over­time vic­tory in Su­per Bowl LI last month.

On Mon­day, the league said in a state­ment that fed­eral and lo­cal law en­force­ment of­fi­cials had found the jer­sey “in the pos­ses­sion of a cre­den­tialed mem­ber of the in­ter­na­tional me­dia.”

Au­thor­i­ties did not iden­tify a sus­pect or an­nounce any ar­rests, but Mex­i­can me­dia com­pany Or­ga­ni­za­cion Edi­to­rial Mex­i­cana said Mauri­cio Ortega, the di­rec­tor of La Prensa in Mex­ico City, had re­signed March 14 for “per­sonal rea­sons,” and that it learned only Mon­day of his pos­si­ble in­volve­ment in the case.

Hous­ton Po­lice Chief Art Acevedo — Austin’s for­mer top cop — con­grat­u­lated his team on find­ing the jer­sey, which his depart­ment had es­ti­mated to be worth $500,000. Po­lice in­ves­ti­ga­tors traced the jer­sey to Mex­ico based on an in­for­mant’s tip.

The NFL also re­ported that a se­cond Brady Su­per Bowl jer­sey was re­cov­ered, the one he wore in his vic­tory against the Seat­tle Sea­hawks in 2015.

Brady, who was named most valu­able player in this year’s game, thanked in­ves­ti­ga­tors in a state­ment sent to The As­so­ci­ated Press.

“I am happy my jer­seys from SB 49 and SB 51 have been re­cov­ered, and I want to thank all of the law en­force­ment agen­cies in­volved,” Brady said.

“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.”

The jer­seys are in the posses-

sion of the NFL and the FBI in Bos­ton, and law en­force- ment was work­ing to au­then- ticate them, the chief said.

Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Pa­trick, who had in­vited the Depart­ment of Pub­lic Safety’s Texas Rangers to join the posse look­ing for the jer­sey, posted a state­ment Mon­day on Face­book.

“I knew once the Hous­ton Po­lice Depart­ment and the Texas Rangers were on the hunt the jer­sey would be found,” Pa­trick wrote.

“I al­ways sus­pected some­one in the me­dia grabbed it be­cause no one con­nected with the team would take it and the me­dia was the only other group who had ac­cess to the locker room and would be car­ry­ing some­thing to stuff it in.”

Pa­trick warned: “Note to the in­ter­na­tional me­dia: Don’t Mess with Texas.”

RI­CARDO B. BRAZZIELL/AMER­I­CAN-STATES­MAN

New Eng­land Pa­triot Tom Brady’s Su­per Bowl jer­sey dis­ap­peared af­ter the Fe­bru­ary game in Hous­ton. On Mon­day, the NFL said the jer­sey was found in Mex­ico.

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