The strange case of missing clothes belonging to a retired animatronic character at Walt Disney World in Florida called “Buzzy” took another twist on Monday, more than a year after the theft happened.
It now involves Milwaukee Bucks center Robin Lopez, a known Disney aficionado who unknowingly purchased the stolen clothing, per court records reviewed by the Orlando Sentinel.
Sheriff’s investigators stressed to the Sentinel that Lopez and his friend, Brett Finley, are victims in the case.
‘Buzzy’ clothes go missing at Epcot
“Buzzy” is a retired animated character that was once part of the “Wonders of Life” attraction at Epcot that was closed in 2007. In December 2018, authorities released an incident report stating that Buzzy’s clothes, including a red jacket, cap and “rubber molded hands,” were missing. Authorities suspected someone had sneaked into the off-limits area and stolen the items, valued at $7,000, between Aug. 1 and Aug. 8.
In May, authorities issued an arrest warrant for Patrick Spikes, a former Disney employee who ran the popular @BackDoorDisney account. That’s what caught authorities’ attention, the Sentinel reported. Spikes and his cousin, Blaytin Taunton, were hit with felony charges. They pleaded not guilty.
At the time of charges in September, the Sentinel reported that according to financial documents, two people had reportedly paid $29,451 over Paypal for the items.
Those two people were Lopez and Finley.
Lopez caught in Disney scam
Lopez had the items in his possession, per the Sentinel. Audio exchanges from April between Orange County sheriff’s investigators and Finley, a certified public accountant who met Lopez through Disney’s exclusive membership-only Club 33, provided details about how they got there.
Lopez saw the items on eBay and corresponded with Spikes about them. Via the Orlando Sentinel:
“We had a call with Patrick ... Robin and I both ... The first question Robin asked, ‘Was any of this stuff stolen?’ [Spikes] said, ‘No, it’s not,'" Finley told authorities.
“It’s really frustrating that you get scammed into these things," Finley went on to say. “If it’s not legit, we don’t want it. [Lopez], he’s a high-profile, like you said. I’m a CPA. I have a family.”
The two men would need to file civil lawsuits to reclaim the money they paid to purchase the items. An Orlando attorney is also reportedly a victim in the case, which has widened to include $500,000 worth of items that include Buzzy himself.
Lopez brothers history with Disney
Lopez is a well-known Disney fan alongside his twin brother, Brook. The two now play together in Milwaukee after Robin signed with the Bucks in the offseason. It’s the first time since they’ve played together since they were at Stanford.
Brook owns a home in Disney’s residential complex on the property. In 2015, the twins hosted an NBA blooper show called “NBA Slam Funk!” on Disney XD. Profiles of the two include Disney mentions and photos. A Twitter search shows fans excited about seeing the brothers over the years at the resorts. It’s also a topic of discussion on Robin’s Twitter account.
The resort released news last week that the brothers will be at the NBA Experience on Halloween night. The Bucks play in Boston on Wednesday and in Orlando on Friday.
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