Ex-Disney employee accused of stealing costumes to sell on black market


LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. —A former Disney employee and his cousin are accused of stealing clothing and wigs from Disney rides and then selling them on the black market.

Patrick Spikes and Blaytin Taunton are accused of selling property that had been stolen from Disney.

WESH 2 News reported last year that somebody had broken into the backstage area of a retired Epcot exhibit and taken an animatronic character’s clothing.

The Wonders of Life has not been open for years and the character “Buzzy” was kept in an off-limits area.

In early August of 2018, detectives found that Buzzy’s green military-style cap, red bomber jacket and his custom rubber hands were reportedly gone.

According to court documents, Spikes stole Buzzy’s costume, along with items from the Haunted Mansion and sold them for thousands of dollars to collectors.

Taunton, his cousin, is accused of posing as a Disney employee to get access to the Haunted Mansion to steal the items with Spikes. Both men are charged with burglary and grand theft.

Ken Storey, who is the host of the Orlando Tourism Report on FM radio, provided insight into the appetite for rare Disney memorabilia on the black market.

“Wonders of Life, anything that’s old-school Epcot, people love and people want anything that can remind them of retro Epcot,” Storey said.

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April 24 2021 08:00 am

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