Surveys estimate that 29% of men say they would wear an engagement ring, but Tom Brady of the New England Patriots has something better — five Super Bowl rings. Unfortunately for the football superstar, after winning against the Atlanta Falcons in February, Tom Brady’s winning jersey mysteriously vanished, only to reappear six weeks later in another country — Mexico.
According to the National Football League and law enforcement officials, the jersey and a second jersey worn by Brady in a previous Super Bowl two years ago were stolen by a former media executive from Mexico — Mauricio Ortega, former employee of the tabloid Diario La Prensa. Ortega had the credentials to cover the game in Houston and was able to snag the jersey in the Patriots’ locker room.
The investigation was led by the FBI, the Houston Police Department, and league security.
“You don’t come to Texas and embarrass us here on our own turf,” said Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo. “The only blemish that we had from the Super Bowl was these jerseys that were stolen from the locker room.”
La Prensa said in a statement that its former director, Martin Ortega, had also been involved in the theft.
“If it turns out to be true, (La Prensa) strongly rejects the conduct of Martin Ortega … who took advantage of the position he had to use the La Prensa newspaper to get accreditation and gain access to the field,” the statement said.
Ortega could not be reached for comment, but he did resign last Tuesday for ‘personal reasons.’
At the time of the incident, Brady expressed disappointment at the loss of his jersey.
“It’s unfortunate, because that’s a nice piece of memorabilia,” he had said. “Those are pretty special ones to keep. What can you do? I’ll take the ring and that’s good enough for me.”
While Brady will soon have possession of both jerseys once again, along with all five of his super bowl rings, Robert Kraft, owner of the team, is lacking one of his own mementos.
After the Patriot’s Super Bowl win against the Philadelphia Eagles back in 2005, Kraft met Russian President Vladimir Putin later that year. Kraft said he intended to simply show the ring to Putin, but the leader ended up keeping it instead.
Ultimately, Brady’s positivity shone through as he expressed gratitude for all those who assisted with the investigation.
“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,” said the Patriots quarterback. “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.”