ORLANDO, Fla. – A Kissimmee man with a self-stated “pending application” for Walt Disney World Security is being accused of stealing and tampering with Disney resort property, including a Star Wars R2-D2 statue worth as much as $10,000.
David Proudfoot, 44, posed as a security guard at Disney’s Swan Reserve Hotel on May 31, when he was noticed by hotel security wearing a gray T-shirt, beige workpants and a high-visibility orange work vest while pushing a cart across Epcot Resorts Boulevard onto Swan Reserve property, according to an arrest report.
Orange County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to a call from security of suspicious activity.
Between 5 a.m. and 8:30 a.m., Proudfoot reportedly gave an investigator a false name before leading him to an employee locker room at the Yacht Club Resort, where Proudfoot said he worked, and walked aimlessly around in search for his locker where Proudfoot said he had his belongings.
After being unsuccessful with opening a locker he claimed to be his, the investigator asked to see what he assumed to be a wallet in Proudfoot’s pocket.
Proudfoot then produced a Florida driver’s license with a different name than the one he told investigators and was transported back to Swan Reserve Hotel, where he later admitted to moving a game machine and an R2-D2 statue estimated to cost between $6,000 and $10,000 from the third floor of the Swan hotel.
The arrest report said Proudfoot told investigators he was attempting to secure a better paying job by exposing the weaknesses in the security of the resorts, and said he never intended to steal the items.
Proudfoot was booked into Orange County jail in late May on charges of third-degree grand theft, petty theft, burglary, tampering with a coin-operated machine and schemed to defraud.
Representatives at Orange County Sheriff’s Office were not immediately available to respond to requests for comment.
This is not Proudfoot’s first offense related to stealing Disney-property merchandise.
Proudfoot admitted to breaking into at least three separate arcade machines at Walt Disney World’s Wilderness Lodge, Boardwalk Resort, and the Grand Floridian Resort, a police report of his arrest says.
A signed search warrant for his residence in Kissimmee found at least $730 worth of Disney valuables identified by Disney World Investigator Frank Regiacorte.
Alleged stolen items include three, custom-designed light fixtures and a towel cabinet taken from Fort Wilderness Lodge sometime between May 13 and May 14 in the Sturdy Ranch Health Club. The forest-themed stand was reportedly converted to a housing unit for an arcade game and a “towel return” sign was located on a cart next to the stand.
Proudfoot was also identified as the suspect in a grand theft from Polynesian Resort which occurred overnight on May 30 to May 31.
Local journalism is essential.
Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.
Subscribe now to get breaking news alerts in your email inbox
Get breaking news delivered to your inbox as it happens.