Lobo Basketball Coach Paul Weir becomes auto burglary victim

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Lobo Basketball Coach Paul Weir can officially call himself an Albuquerque citizen now—after his car was broken into. 

It happened at The Pit. The theft even became the subject of a Crime Stoppers campaign.  Weir now has something in common with a lot of people in Albuquerque, and he probably won’t be leaving his wallet in his car, ever again. 

It happens all the time—thieves stealing people’s belongings from inside their parked cars in the university area. 

“I’ve heard a lot of my friends’ cars have gotten broken into,” a University of New Mexico student said.

UNM Men’s Basketball Coach Paul Weir recently became a victim of an auto burglary.

Police believe it was Joseph Mendez who shattered Coach Weir’s car window and stole his wallet from the center console while his car was parked outside The Pit on a late January afternoon. 

Three of Weir’s credit cards and $500 in cash were gone. Without naming the victim, Crime Stoppers zeroed in on the case showing the thief using one of those credit cards at the Walgreens on Central and Rio Grande. 

“We obtained video of him using those cards,” said UNM Police Lt. Trace Peck.

Mendez was arrested Tuesday after tips came in from Crime Stoppers. While there was video of Mendez using the cards, there was no video of the break-in outside The Pit. As car break-ins have become a huge issue at UNM, President Stokes is making campus security one of her main priorities—putting cameras in all parking lots, including at The Pit and the football stadium. 

“That was on one section of The Pit where the cameras weren’t functional at the time,” said Lt. Peck. 

Even with the cameras, campus police and students alike say your best bet is taking your valuables out of your car. Lt. Peck says since those cameras went up, there have been no break-ins or car thefts during a sporting event. 

Coach Weir was at The Pit on an off-day when his car was broken into. Mendez isn’t charged with the car break-in, only for having Coach Weir’s stolen credit cards. 

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