At last, the biggest mystery of Super Bowl LI  has been solved and in this instance it may be safe to blame the media.

Tom Brady’s jersey, the one that has been missing since shortly after he led the New England Patriots to a historic victory Feb. 5, was “in the possession of a credentialed member of the international media,” the NFL said in a statement, citing a joint recovery effort by the FBI, other law-enforcement agencies, and the security teams of the NFL and New England Patriots.

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And, in a twist on the story, a second Brady Super Bowl jersey, which had gone missing after the Patriots’ XLIX victory, was also found in Mexico.

“The jersey is in the hands of the NFL and FBI now,” Houston police chief Art Acevedo said during a Monday morning news conference in Houston. “The reason the jersey was recovered is because of the outstanding work of the men and women of the Houston Police Department. It was not our highest priority, but the only blemish on our Super Bowl was the theft of the jersey.

“Our investigators developed information from an informant here that led them to Mexico. As a result, we were able to work with the FBI and Mexican authorities and the jersey, along with one from Super Bowl XLIX, were subsequently recovered. They were taken to Boston, where efforts are underway to authenticate the jerseys. We are confident that they are authentic.”

Acevedo declined to offer many specifics in the case, which goes to the U.S. attorney’s office, but said “we fully anticipate charges being brought against a suspect” and added that videos are part of the investigation. He would not say whether the suspect was a media member, only that the person “had legitimate access to the event and it wasn’t as a ticket-holder.”

The investigation remains ongoing and Acevedo said he expects the U.S. attorney to “prosecute vigorously” with one possible charge being transportation of stolen goods across state lines into Mexico.

Acevedo reminded reporters that there are far more serious crimes, but that this one struck at the state’s pride, what Acevedo called “Texas bravado. You came to the wrong state. You don’t steal when the eyes of the world are upon our state.”


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