New Mexico State staff bus target of theft

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Monday, September 7, 2015

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- University of Florida police say computers were among the items stolen from a New Mexico State team personnel bus during Saturday's game.

Brad Barber of the university police department said the bus, which carried football staff members, was parked outside the stadium in a secure area.

"Dozens of police cars were parked near the bus, so it seemingly took some gall to enter the bus where it was parked," Barber said.

Two other buses, which carried New Mexico State players, weren't targeted.

New Mexico State athletic director Mario Moccia said about seven to 10 people had items stolen.The victims included administrators, boosters, the deputy athletic director and Moccia, who lost his computer, work documents, an iPod, his passport and the keys to his home, work and car.

"The things underneath the bus were not touched," Moccia said. "It was the things that were in the bus, and that was a lot of briefcases and things like that, but not everything was taken."

Florida beat New Mexico State 61-13 in its season-opening game.

Moccia tweeted his frustration over the matter late Saturday.

The athletic director clarified Sunday that his frustration was not directed at Florida.

"I was just trying to get the word out and say, 'Hey everybody, this is what happened,'" Moccia said. "In no way, shape or form does this take away from the professionalism and professional courtesy that the University of Florida athletic department showed us or that the law enforcement of Gainesville [did]."

Barber said a witness told police two people were involved in the theft. He added that it likely occurred between 7:15 and 9 p.m.

"The general information was that at some point during the football game, two individuals pulled this off," Barber said. "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."

As of Sunday afternoon, police said they had not identified any suspects.

"There was a large contingent of officers working that game," Barber said. "Most of them were inside the stadium, but there were some outside."

He added that police would not release an official report on the incident before Tuesday.

Moccia said he is 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."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.