The case of Tom Brady’s missing Super Bowl jersey appeared to have been solved on Monday morning, but then Brady himself threw cold water on the idea.
Brady said in the locker room after Sunday’s win that his game-worn jersey had been stolen. “It was right here. I know exactly where I put it,” he said.
When Brady told him the jersey had been swiped, owner Robert Kraft joked that he should look for it on eBay, a joke Brady later repeated to ESPN’s Kevin Van Valkenburg.
After midnight on Monday, FOX 25 sports anchor Tom Leyden reported that a Patriots equipment staffer had taken Brady’s jersey and locked it away before it could get into the wrong hands. Leyden clarified Monday afternoon that he had followed up with a Patriots employee who said Brady’s pads and jersey were taken off the field by a staff member before the trophy ceremony. Brady’s statements in the locker room would seem to indicate that he had the jersey with him by his locker and it went missing some time thereafter.
The jersey did not turn up over night and Brady said at his Monday morning press conference that he still didn’t have it.
One Patriots fan posted a photo on Instagram saying he had stolen the jersey and NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport added fuel to the fire by posting a screenshot on Twitter.
After the post gained traction, the fan edited the post to say he was just joking.
The case has evolved to the point that Texas governor Dan Patrick has enlisted the Texas Ranger Divsion to assist Houston PD’s investigation. (The Rangers are not to be confused with the baseball team of the same name, though the club did have a pretty funny tweet about their involvement.)
Houston PD announced Monday afternoon that the case been referred to the Major Offenders unit, a division “responsible for the investigation of highly specialized and often unique types of criminal activity that fall outside the scope or expertise of other investigative divisions.”
Speaking Monday morning, Brady was resigned to the fact that he may not see the historic jersey again.
“Those are pretty special ones to keep, you know? What can you do,” he said. “I’ll take the ring and that’s good enough for me.”
Then, on Wednesday, Yahoo Sports reported that investigators had narrowed down a 15-minute window in which the jersey could have been stolen: a period of time in which the locker room was closed to anyone not affiliated with the team. Investigators are in the process of using surveillance footage to determine possible suspects.