Without tip from 19-year-old, Tom Brady’s stolen jerseys might not have been recovered
For all the untold hours and money poured into finding Tom Brady’s two stolen Super Bowl jerseys, authorities might have never recovered them if not for the help of a teenage New England Patriots fan.
According to WBZ-TV’s Cheryl Fiandaca, 19-year-old Dylan Wagner had a strange online discussion with a fellow memorabilia collector last December. Wagner sold Martin Mauricio Ortega a jersey on eBay, then they exchanged photos of their collections. And somehow, Wagner said, Ortega had 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 to WBZ.
Then Brady’s Super Bowl LI jersey was reported stolen, it became a big story, and Wagner immediately connected the dots.
“I knew exactly who had it,” Wagner told WBZ.
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According to the WBZ story Wagner provided authorities with photos of Ortega’s collection, which included the missing Super Bowl XLIX jersey, and two addresses for him. A video of Ortega, a credentialed member of the international media, entering the Patriots locker room after Super Bowl LI and leaving shortly after with a bag under his arm got a lot of attention, but that alone couldn’t prove Ortega stole Brady’s jersey.
“He [Boston ATF Special Agent Christopher Arone] said the video doesn’t prove anything. Without the photos I sent him they wouldn’t have been able to get a search warrant to go into Ortega’s basement and get the jerseys,” Wagner told WBZ.
The jerseys got returned to Brady, and Wagner said he hopes to someday meet Brady. Based on WBZ’s account, setting up a meeting is the least the Patriots could do, considering Wagner’s role in recovering Brady’s jerseys.