Brady’s missing jersey found in Mexico
BOSTON (AP) — Tom Brady's missing Super Bowl jersey has been found in Mexico six weeks after it vanished from the Patriots' locker room — but the mystery isn't over.
The NFL said the jersey was found in "possession of a credentialed member of the international media," and authorities were investigating Monday whether a former Mexican tabloid newspaper executive played a role in the theft.
It wasn't the only piece of memorabilia recovered: Authorities found a Brady jersey that had gone missing after the Patriots' 2015 Super Bowl win over the Seattle Seahawks. A helmet belonging to a Denver Broncos player was also discovered, NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said.
The stolen jersey — and the investigation that stretched from Boston to the border — captivated Patriots fans and social media for several days after the Patriots' 34-28 overtime win over the Atlanta Falcons.
"If it shows up on eBay or something, somebody let me know," Brady said after the game.
Houston police investigators relied on a tip from an informant to trace the jersey, estimated to be worth about $500,000, to Mexico.
US and Mexican officials have not identified the suspect, but the name of a former newspaper director circulated widely in Mexican news media and on social networks.
The newspaper's owner, Organizacion Editorial Mexicana, issued a statement saying the director resigned two days later for "personal reasons”.
The paper said that if the accusations are true, it "strongly condemns" that the employee used his position "to obtain a media accreditation to be able to access the field of play, news conferences and probably other areas of NRG Stadium." The paper said it had not been contacted by investigators.
A company official who was not authorised to discuss the matter publicly told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity that the former director was not part of the media outlet's Super Bowl coverage.
"He got accredited on behalf of La Prensa, but he took vacations. ... He was not sent by us," the person said. "They were not even aware that (he) had gone to the Super Bowl."
Former Mexican President Felipe Calderon alluded to political tensions between his country and the United States while weighing in on Twitter.
"A real embarrassment that a Mexican may have stolen Tom Brady's Jersey. It gives pretexts to the anti-Mexican offensive," Calderon tweeted. "He should be punished."