Just when you thought the saga of Tom Brady’s stolen Super Bowl jerseys was over, here comes the most stunning twist yet.
Here’s how it went down:
Wagner, whom WBZ described as “a sports memorabilia collector and an avid Patriots fan,” sold a man named Martin Mauricio Ortega a jersey on eBay last December. After the sale, the two exchanged photos of their respective collections, and Wagner noticed something odd in Ortega’s: the jersey Brady wore during the Patriots’ Super Bowl XLIX win over the Seattle Seahawks.
“I asked him outright, I was like, ‘Hey, how did you get that,’ ” Wagner told WBZ’s Cheryl Fiandaca. “He was like, ‘I’ll tell you later. It’s a long story.’ ”
Wagner said he shared the photos with Boston ATF Special Agent Christopher Arone, who also collects sports memorabilia, but nothing came of it at the time. It wasn’t until Brady’s Super Bowl LI jersey went missing after the Patriots’ historic win over the Atlanta Falcons that Arone reached back out to him.
Wagner passed along more photos and Ortega’s contact information to Arone, who forwarded the leads to the FBI. That, in conjunction with surveillance video taken outside the Patriots’ Super Bowl LI locker room, allowed authorities to track down Ortega in his native Mexico and recover the stolen goods.
“(Arone) said the video doesn’t prove anything,” Wagner told WBZ. “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.”
Wild, wild stuff.
Wagner, who lives in Seattle, said he hopes to one day meet Brady. We’d say he deserves to.
Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images