The case of Tom Bradyâ€™s stolen Super Bowl jersey took an unexpected twist Monday. The FBI recovered not one but two Super Bowl uniforms worn by the New England Patriotsâ€™ star quarterback, and the pair of jerseysâ€”worth an estimated $800,000â€”was found in the possession of a credentialed international reporter.
After his MVP performance in the Patriotsâ€™ comeback win in Super Bowl LI, Brady revealed that his jersey had gone missing from the locker room at Houstonâ€™s NRG Stadium. Local and federal authorities subsequently launched an investigation.
On Monday, the NFL said league security teamed up with the Patriots, the FBI and other law enforcement agencies in the search, which also unearthed the jersey Brady wore in the Patriotsâ€™ Super Bowl XLIX victory in 2015.
Houston police had labeled the theft a felony considering the jerseyâ€™s estimated value of $500,000.
In an interview on the FOX Business Networkâ€™s â€œMorning With Maria,â€ Steiner Sports CEO Brandon Steiner said the whole uniform set, including Bradyâ€™s helmet, pants and cleats, would likely fetch half a million dollars at auction.
Through a spokesperson, Steiner told FOX Business on Monday that Bradyâ€™s 2015 Super Bowl jersey is probably worth about $300,000.
The NFL said the two jerseys â€œwere found in the possession of a credentialed member of the international media.â€ According to Jay Glazer of FOX Sports, the league believes â€œsomeone posing as international mediaâ€ was responsible for the theft.
During a press conference Monday afternoon, Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said his department traced the missing uniform to Mexico with the help of a local informant and security video footage. The elite Texas Rangers also participated in the investigation. Houston police expect the U.S. attorneyâ€™s office to pursue federal charges related to the transport of stolen goods outside the U.S., among other potential charges.
The process to confirm the authenticity of the two jerseys is ongoing, Acevedo added. He confirmed that the suspect had legitimate access to the Super Bowl.
Acevedo said NFL security, which is responsible for securing locker rooms at the Super Bowl, should â€œcheck their protocolsâ€ in the wake of the two thefts.
The FBI hadnâ€™t released additional details by the time of publication. The Patriots didnâ€™t immediately respond to a request for comment.