BOSTON (CBS) — Arguably the only story crazier than the Patriots’ comeback victory over the Falcons in Super Bowl LI was the international pursuit after the game to find the stolen jersey from Tom Brady’s locker.
It was a cause that required effort from local law enforcement in Houston, NFL security teams, and the FBI. And it was an effort that was ultimately successful — largely thanks to a 19-year-old memorabilia collector in Seattle.
WBZ’s I-Team tracked down Dylan Wagner on Tuesday evening to share his story of how he helped authorities track down the culprit. And Wednesday, Toucher & Rich welcomed him to the show to share even more.
Wagner said that he had sold a Deion Branch game-worn jersey to Martin Mauricio Ortega in December, and in that transaction, Ortega shared photos of his extensive jersey collection.
“This guy has Tom Brady, Joe Montana, John Elway, Peyton Manning, everyone under the sun that you can imagine here,” Wagner said.
Included in that collection was Tom Brady’s game-worn Super Bowl XLIX jersey from the Patriots’ win over the Seahawks in 2015. At that point, Wagner — like most people — didn’t know that that jersey was stolen. Wagner asked Ortega how he got that incredible piece of sports memorabilia.
“He said it’s a long story,” Wagner relayed. “I was like, ‘Well I’d love to know whether it was legally or illegally.’ And at that point, he never replied back after that.”
After Brady’s stolen jersey at Super Bowl LI became a big story, Wagner got in contact with a fellow memorabilia collector he knows, ATF special agent Chris Arone. Wagner passed along Ortega’s address, and the authorities used the photo from Wagner to obtain a search warrant for Ortega’s property.
As for a personalized thank you from Tom Brady? That hasn’t come … yet.
“I haven’t heard from Brady yet,” Wagner said. “The news broke real late last night. I’m hoping maybe today I’ll get a call from him, or I’ll be able to call him or hear something from the Patriots.”
If Wagner does get to meet Brady, he doesn’t know exactly what he’d say.
“I don’t know — I think I would be speechless,” Wagner said. “I don’t even know what I would say.”
Fred Toucher asked Wagner what he’d like from the Patriots if they offered him anything.
“First and foremost I would ask to meet Brady,” said Wagner, who wore a Brady jersey during his WBZ interview. “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.”
Listen to the full interview below: