The Houston PD wants to make it perfectly clear it was NFL security that had watch over the Patriots locker room ... and therefore it's NFL security who should get the blame for Tom Brady's jersey going missing.

Chief Art Acevedo says it was the Houston PD that led the search for the jersey and should get the majority of the credit for its return.

Acevedo says he put a "handful" of investigators on the case because of the national and international attention ... and felt it was the only blemish on an otherwise perfect Super Bowl.

Acevedo says Houston PD developed the first major lead from an informant that led officials to the suspect.