A Mexican fan with Super Bowl locker room access.
The saga of Tom Brady’s stolen Super Bowl jerseys is one of the most bizarre episodes of hobby related crime you could ever cook up.
Brady’s jersey from Super Bowl 51 went missing after Mauricio Ortega, a publishing executive in Mexico grabbed it out of his bag and took it home. Valued deep into six figures, if not more, the jersey became the subject of an international search. Little did anyone know that Ortega had also lifted Brady’s Super Bowl 49 jersey for his growing collection of NFL gamers.
It wasn’t until Ortega connected with Dylan Wagner, young collector in Kent, WA, via eBay messages and showed off his jerseys that the case began to break open. Wagner’s attempts to tell police and the Patriots were met with lukewarm response, but a fellow collector who happened to be an ATF agent knew it was a key clue.
Chicago FBI agent Brian Brusokas, who was been a part of numerous sports memorabilia related cases during his career, helped get the jerseys back into Brady’s hands and on to the Patriots Hall of Fame.
Corey McPherrin of Fox32 in Chicago reunited the trio to recall the details of how “jersey gate” unfolded. Watch the story below.
Ortega never faced criminal charges.
In April of 2017–two months after the theft–Patriots owner Robert Kraft unveiled the recovered jerseys.
They’re back! Robert Kraft presents Tom Brady with the jerseys he wore in Super Bowl XLIX and Super Bowl LI. pic.twitter.com/0AsuqS1j3Z
— New England Patriots (@Patriots) April 3, 2017