Florida Man Poses as Disney Employee to Droid-nap R2-D2

Cops say the man grabbed the droid in an attempt to reveal weaknesses in the defense systems of one of the company’s top resort facilities
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A Florida man with a pending application to work security at Walt Disney World was arrested after he posed as an employee and stole a replica of famed Rebel Alliance Astromech droid, R2-D2. The would-be safety officer claims he kidnapped the bucket of bolts, worth $10,000, in order to expose the weaknesses in security at one of the company’s resorts and convince them to hire him, Patch reports.

David Proudfoot, 44, of Kissimmee, is being charged with grand theft of an item worth $5,000 to $10,000, a third-degree felony, and obstruction by false information.

The incident occurred at about 5 a.m. on May 31 when a security officer noticed Proudfoot moving a large cart onto the premises at the Swan Reserve Hotel in Florida.

Proudfoot, who was wearing a uniform and a Disney name badge, appeared to be confused as to where the loading docks were as well as hotel procedures, so the security officer alerted the police, according to an affidavit.

When deputies arrived, Proudfoot told them that his name was David Rodgers and that he worked for Disney’s World Yacht Club Resort. He also told deputies that
part of his duties was to move items from one location and that his supervisor’s name was James McDaniels.

According to the affidavit, Disney said they had no employment record for a man named David Rodgers and that James McDaniels worked for the company, but in Burbank, California, not at the Orlando resort, Fox News reports.

Deputies escorted Proudfoot to the Yacht Club Resort to retrieve his belongings and identification from employee lockers, but he blew his cover when he started leading them through various areas of the resort and it became clear that he was lost and he couldn’t open his purported locker.

When authorities spotted a wallet in Proudfoot’s pocket, they asked him to show them his driver’s license, which revealed his true identity, the affidavit said.

He later admitted to moving the Star Wars droid and a game machine from the third floor of the Swan Reserve Hotel because he had been waiting to hear back about a job he applied for with Walt Disney World Security. He said that he moved the items to “show weaknesses in the security of the resorts” in the hopes of getting a better paying job at the resorts.

This is hardly the first time that secrets indicating a crucial weakness in the defense systems of an elaborate facility run by a (practically) galactic mega-power has been exposed the R2 unit.

But Proudfoot said he never intended to take the items off the property, according to the affidavit.

In a Thursday court filing, Proudfoot’s lawyer said his client has remained in custody since his May arrest, Fox News reports. He filed a motion for Proudfoot to be released on his own recognizance.

And now, that job opportunity must feel like a long time ago, in an amusement park far, far away…


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