A man who used to work for Disney World in Orlando is facing felony charges for allegations that he stole and then sold thousands of dollars in costumes and props from the park during the time that he worked there.
Last August, an animatronic from the Epcot area of Disney World valued at $7,000 went missing and an investigation into the theft was opened.
In November, 24-year-old Patrick Allen Spikes, a park employee at the time, was one of the suspects questioned about the incident. When speaking with the authorities Spikes said he did not steal anything from the theme park. He was still taken into custody for resisting arrest based on allegations that he had been uncooperative and argumentative when speaking with law enforcement, but the charges were dropped shortly afterward.
While continuing to investigate Spikes for his purported sticky-fingered activities in the park, the authorities allegedly located photos of several other items such as an animatronic, costumes, and jewelry on his phone. The value of the second stash of allegedly stolen goods was also estimated at $7000.
A specific missing item of interest was a dress from the ballroom display in the Haunted Mansion, for which he is being held accountable, due to the phone search allegedly revealing pictures of the girl dating Blaytin Taunton, Spikes’ cousin, while wearing it with the accompanying tiara.
Spikes and Taunton also allegedly took a photograph of themselves standing in front of the entryway to an employees-only tunnel that gave the workers an easy way to get to the backstage areas and other sections of the theme park. The authorities have purported that the picture was taken at the end of July on the evening that the dress was taken.
It was discovered that Spikes allegedly had social media accounts across several platforms, including a YouTube channel and a podcast, dubbed “BackDoorDisney.” They appeared to be dedicated to humorous content, such as sharing the stranger parts of working as a Disney employee, with his viewers. Though all of the accounts have been disabled, it has been purported that Spikes posted a photo of one of the missing animatronics, in addition to several other images of parts of the park where visitors are not authorized, on his social media.
Spikes has also been accused of selling some of the items reported stolen and profiting $30,000 by using Paypal to accept money from the buyers. One of the people who claimed to have purchased from Spikes has lent his cooperation to the investigation and stated that he paid $9,000 for 18 pieces of memorabilia.
On May 16, Spikes was taken into custody and he is facing charges for dealing in stolen property, burglary of an occupied structure, and grand theft of $5,000 or more. All three of the charges are felonies, and Spikes could go to prison for 20 years if he is convicted.
Spikes bailed out of the Orange County jail and he is awaiting the scheduling of his first court appearance regarding the charges.
Taunton has not been charged for his alleged participation, and the investigation is still open.
If you or someone you love is suspected of a theft crime, contact Orange County criminal defense lawyer Staycie R. Sena at (949) 477-8088 for a consultation now.