PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The mystery of Kobe Bryant’s stolen jersey is finally solved after someone swiped it from a Lower Merion High School display case two years ago. The No. 33 jersey is now safe and sound inside an evidence room at the Lower Merion Township Police Department, thanks to a fan in China.
On Feb. 6, 2017, surveillance cameras captured two burglars breaking into the NBA great’s former school and into the school’s display case. They stole Bryant’s signed jersey and other memorabilia.
The jersey was returned to the township because of Liu Zhe, who received it in Harbin, China, after unknowingly buying it for $2,000 from halfway across the globe.
“I’m crazy about Kobe, I love Kobe,” said Zhe.
Zhe, a super fan who proudly displays his Bryant memorabilia on Instagram, was contacted by an online seller to see if he would buy the jersey. After buying it, he noticed the autographed jersey looked very similar to the stolen jersey Bryant had signed for Lower Merion.
Zhe did some investigating and it turned out that it was the same jersey. After connecting with Lower Merion High School on Instagram, he shipped the jersey back to Pennsylvania.
“We’re very grateful to the young fan in China who did the right thing and sent the jersey back to Lower Merion. We’re looking forward to returning it to our rightful spot in our display case,” said Amy Buckman, of the Lower Merion School District.
Bryant, who had his high school jersey retired in 2002, was born in Philadelphia and is the son of former 76ers player Joe Bryant.
Zhe said he doesn’t want anything for his role in returning the jersey and just wants Kobe Bryant to know he did the right thing.