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Florida Man Posing as Disney Employee Charged in Removal of R2-D2 at Hotel


A Florida man who said he applied for a security job at Walt Disney World in Florida desired to impress his would-be bosses.

So, to focus on what he said was the corporate’s lax oversight, the person, David Proudfoot, donned the grey T-shirt, beige pants and Disney name tag worn by employees of a Disney resort, the Swan Reserve, and removed an R2-D2 “Star Wars” droid in addition to an unidentified game machine, the authorities said.

R2-D2 might need been the droid he was in search of, but Mr. Proudfoot’s test of Disney’s security backfired: He was charged with grand theft and obstruction by false information, based on an arrest report dated May 31.

Mr. Proudfoot, 44, of Kissimmee, Fla., admitted to investigators that he moved the droid, which was valued as much as $10,000, and the sport machine, Deputy Christopher Wrzesien of the Orange County Sheriff’s Office wrote within the report.

Deputy Wrzesien wrote that Mr. Proudfoot had “temporarily moved” the droid from the third floor of the hotel to an unknown location. As for the sport machine, Mr. Proudfoot told deputies that he had no intention of moving it off the property, based on the report.

He told investigators “he had an application for Walt Disney World Security pending and was moving the items to indicate weaknesses in the safety of the resorts within the hope of securing a better-paying job at WDW,” the report said.

Mr. Proudfoot couldn’t be reached for comment on Saturday and a lawyer for him was not immediately available. Representatives of Walt Disney World and the Orange County Sheriff’s Office didn’t reply to requests for comment.

When the authorities first arrived on the Swan Reserve on May 31, they found Mr. Proudfoot disguised as an organization employee, Deputy Wrzesien wrote.

He initially gave investigators a false name of David E. Rodgers, but nobody by that name was employed by the corporate. Mr. Proudfoot also said his manager’s name was that of a Disney worker who worked in California, not Florida, based on the report.

Deputy Wrzesien accompanied Mr. Proudfoot to retrieve items from a locker, and Mr. Proudfoot took a route that seemed inconsistent with worker procedures, the report said.

“At one point David took us as much as a stairwell that results in the management offices,” Deputy Wrzesien wrote. “After I questioned David where we were going, he said ‘Oh, I believed you desired to speak to my manager to confirm my employment.’”

Investigators confirmed Mr. Proudfoot’s real name with a Florida driver’s license he had in his possession, the report said.

Mr. Proudfoot has been connected to other thefts at Disney-owned properties leading as much as the R2-D2 case.

In January, on the 4 Seasons Resort, sheriff’s records show he was tied to the theft of about $735 price of loo products from the lads’s locker room. The subsequent month, he was arrested after buying a gold necklace price greater than $700 by identifying himself as a guest under a special name.

On May 16, Mr. Proudfoot was charged in reference to the theft of loo lighting fixtures and a towel cabinet from the gym at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort. He also admitted to breaking into at the least three arcade machines on Walt Disney World properties, the report said.

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