The mystery of Tom Brady's stolen Super Bowl jersey has been cracked.
According to NFL spokesperson Brian McCarthy, the FBI and NFL security teams said they had recovered Brady's stolen Super Bowl LI jersey and it will be returned.
Houston police said Monday the jersey was recovered in Mexico along with Brady's jersey from his Super Bowl XLIX win over the Seattle Seahawks. It was taken by the same person, and that person is expected to face federal charges, including but not limited to transporting stolen goods across state lines and outside the country.
"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," Brady said in a statement. "I know they worked very 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."
The NFL said the items were "found in the possession of a credentialed member of the international media." Houston police would say only that the suspect had legitimate access to the Super Bowl but was not a ticket holder. A Mexican newspaper company, the Mexican Editorial Organization, said on Twitter that a former executive from tabloid Diario La Prensa was involved in the case. No further information on the suspect has been released.
Houston police Chief Art Acevedo said the jerseys are now in the hands of the NFL and the FBI in Boston, and efforts are being made to authenticate them.
"We're highly confident that these are the jerseys," Acevedo said. "They're going to end up where they belong, which is in the hands of Mr. Brady and his family and his colleagues."
Houston police had previously reported that the theft would be considered a felony since the jersey was estimated to be worth $500,000. No value has been given for Brady's Super Bowl XLIX jersey.
"It's kind of like a piece of art," Acevedo said. "It can have great value in terms of monetary gain."
He said recovering the jersey was not his department's top priority, but it was important that what was otherwise a successful Super Bowl not be marred by such a theft.
"He came to the wrong state, you know what I'm saying?" Acevedo said. "You don't come to Texas and you don't steal when the eyes of the world are on our state.
"It's a blemish on our Super Bowl," he added. "You don't come to Texas and embarrass us here on our home turf."
The FBI would not comment on the investigation Monday.
The New England Patriots star previously said he was optimistic about the jersey's return.