New Mexico State bus target of theft during Florida game
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) – University of Florida police say electronics, computers and other items were stolen from a New Mexico State team personnel bus during Saturday’s game.
Brad Barber of the university police department said Sunday that the bus, which carried football staff members, was parked outside the stadium in a secure area during the game.
“Dozens of police cars were parked near the bus, so it seemingly took some gall to enter the bus where it was parked,” Barber told The Associated Press by phone.
A second bus, which carried New Mexico State players, wasn’t targeted.
Florida beat New Mexico State 61-13 in their season-opening game.
New Mexico State Athletic Director Mario Moccia tweeted his frustration over the matter. “Well it’s a first. Our bus was broken into all athletic dept staff and guest bags stolen inside! Not a joke,” he wrote.
Moccia said Sunday that he estimates between seven and 10 people lost belongings. The victims included administrators, boosters and the deputy athletic director and himself. Moccia personally lost his computer, work documents, an iPod, passport and the keys to his home, work and car.
“We had seven people that couldn’t take their cars home,” he said.
Moccia said he was still in shock that someone would be brazen enough to rob the bus with a police presence not far.
“My frustrations…are really aimed at the thieves. I’m disappointed that the bus driver was not with the vehicle because that’s what my personal expectations would be,” Moccia said. “But we’ll deal with that down the road.”
Barber said a witness told police two people were involved in the theft.
“The general information was that at some point during the football game two individuals pulled this off. There is one witness who saw what happened. One of the individuals gained entry and was on the bus for a short time and exited the bus with some electronic equipment, laptops, headphones, a small amount of cash and a few items left on that bus,” he said.
As of Sunday afternoon, police said they had not identified any suspects.
“There was a large contingent of officer working that game. Most of them were inside the stadium, but there were some outside,” Barber said.
He added that police would not release an official report on the incident before Tuesday.
Moccia said he’s not sure if attendees will change their routine at games.
“It’s not practical for everybody to lug all their belongings into a game,” Moccia said. “But I don’t know. I wouldn’t be surprised if you see me lugging around a bag for the rest of the season.”