and Patriots Talk: 19-year-old Fan reported the Stolen Super Bowl Jerseys to Investigators
Many speculations arose once it was learned that Patriots‘[Quarterback] Tom Brady‘s Super Bowl LI jersey was stolen. Theories spread around this and who could have done it. (Many pointed towards the media) However, the FBI investigation finally came to a conclusion with the discovery of the jersey in Mexico on March 20th. It was later learned that Brady’s Super Bowl XLIX jersey was also stolen. It was never brought up to authorities by owner Robert Kraft and Tom Brady as they felt is was a non-issue.
The FBI investigation began shortly after Super Bowl LI concluded on February 5th. Eventually led to the arrest of now former Mexican newspaper executive Martin Mauricio Ortega. The man was tipped off by, ironically, a 19-year-old Patriots fan located out in Seattle, Washington named Dylan Wagner.
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
Wagner stated to WBZ-TV on Tuesday, that he had learned about the investigation and knew exactly who had done it. He had known Ortega through an exchange for former Patriots’ [wide receiver] Deion Branch‘s Super Bowl XXXIX (39) jersey on Ebay last year. He explained to WBZ:
“[Ortega] sent me 30 photos of his collection. Front and center was Tom Brady’s Super Bowl XLIX Jersey. I asked him outright, ‘How did you get that?’ and he says ‘I’ll tell you later,’” Wagner said.
Wagner later showed the photos to his friend and fellow collector Chrisopher Arone, who is an agent with ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives) located out in Boston, Massachusetts. Arone learned of the missing jersey and sent an ESPN article to Wagner enlightening the situation.
“He sent me a link to an ESPN article. It stated it is not the first time a jersey was stolen from Brady and it happened after the Seahawks Super Bowl,” Wagner said. “I couldn’t believe this guy would have the audacity to go in and steal something that someone worked so hard for.”
Afterwards, Wagner sent the photos and address to the ATF, who forwarded them to the FBI investigation team to obtain a warrant for Ortega’s arrest. The young man has become a sort of hero to the public now. He appeared on the Toucher and Rich show for 98.5 The Sports Hub and expressed that he is glad to see the jerseys are back with Tom Brady (he hopes to one day meet Tom Brady).
“He’s been my hero growing up, and it’s been cool to in a way be his hero here in this case. Next as a memorabilia collector, I would ask for a game-worn jersey from Brady. … Anything at this point would be kind of special to me, just something I would never let go and something I would be able to show my kids one day when I have them.”
I have a feeling that he will hear back from Tom Brady and Robert Kraft very soon. Hopefully it will be more than a ‘thank you’ as the investigation used Houston local authorities and the FBI to regain these lost jerseys (in addition to possibly much more). Only time will tell us when but for now, I think the young man deserves his 15 minutes of fame.