AP NEWS

Disney employee accused of theft

May 20, 2019

ORLANDO, Fla. — A former Walt Disney World employee with backstage access stole about $14,000 worth of costumes and items from the Magic Kingdom and Epcot theme parks, authorities said Friday.

Patrick Allen Spikes, 24, faces burglary, grand theft, and trafficking in stolen property charges, news outlets reported.

The Orange County Sheriff’s office said it began investigating Spikes when he posted a picture on Twitter of a retired animatronic character wearing its clothes two months after the reported theft of the robot’s garments. Spikes had created a social media platform to post Disney backstage content for movie and theme parks aficionados.

The stolen items belonged to “Buzzy,” a character from the now-closed “Wonders of Life” attraction at Epcot, investigators said. The estimated value of the items is more than $6,800. The entire animatronic was later stolen, according to Friday’s arrest warrant.

Detectives said a search warrant for Spikes’ cellphone turned up photos of stolen Disney wigs, skirts and jackets. Spikes used underground tunnels to get to Magic Kingdom’s Haunted Mansion, where costumes were stolen, the arrest warrant says.

All contents © copyright 2019 The Associated Press.All rights reserved.