Florida man charged with robbery while removing R2-D2 from Disney hotel

A Florida man who said he applied for a security job at Walt Disney World in Florida wanted to impress potential bosses.

So, to highlight what he said was lax oversight by the company, the man, David Proudfoot, donned the gray T-shirt, beige pants and Disney name tag worn by employees at a Disney resort, Swan Reserve, and an R2-D2 was removed. “Star Wars” droid, as well as an unidentified gaming machine, authorities said.

R2-D2 might have been the droid he was looking for, but Proudfoot’s Disney security test failed: He was charged with grand theft and obstruction for false information, according to an arrest report dated May 31.

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

Deputy Wrzesien wrote that Mr. Proudfoot had “temporarily moved” the droid from the hotel’s third floor to an unknown location. As for the arcade machine, Proudfoot told agents he had no intention of removing it from the property, according to the report.

He told investigators he “had an application pending for Walt Disney World Security and was moving articles to show weaknesses in resort security in hopes of securing a higher-paying job at WDW,” according to the report.

Mr Proudfoot could not be reached for comment on Saturday and a lawyer for him was not immediately available. Representatives for Walt Disney World and the Orange County Sheriff’s Office did not respond to requests for comment.

When authorities first arrived at Swan Reserve on May 31, they found Mr. Proudfoot disguised as a company worker, MP Wrzesien wrote.

He initially gave investigators the assumed name of David E. Rodgers, but the company did not employ anyone under that name. Proudfoot also said his manager’s name was that of a Disney employee who worked in California, not Florida, according to the report.

Deputy Wrzesien accompanied Mr. Proudfoot to retrieve items from a locker, and Mr. Proudfoot took a route that appeared inconsistent with clerk procedures, according to the report.

“At one point, David led us to a stairwell that leads to the administration offices,” MP Wrzesien wrote. “When I asked David where we were going, he said, ‘Oh, I thought you wanted to talk to my manager to verify my employment.’”

Investigators confirmed Proudfoot’s real name with a Florida driver’s license in his possession, according to the report.

Mr. Proudfoot has been linked to other break-ins at Disney-owned property leading up to the R2-D2 case.

In January at the Four Seasons Resort, sheriff’s records show he was connected to the theft of bath products worth about $735 from the men’s locker room. The following month, he was arrested after buying a gold necklace worth more than $700 while identifying himself as a guest under a different name.

On May 16, Mr. Proudfoot was charged in connection with the theft of bathroom lamps and a towel rack from the gym at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort. He also admitted to breaking into at least three arcade machines on Walt Disney World properties, according to the report.

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