ORLANDO (CBSMiami/CNN) – Two central Florida men accused of stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of items from Walt Disney World have accepted plea deals to avoid jail time.
Investigators say former employee Patrick Spikes and his cousin, Blaytin Taunton were in the business of swiping Haunted Mansion costumes, wigs, and other memorabilia and peddling them to collectors.
The photos they took of each other and the items they stole from Disney World’s Magic Kingdom and Epcot proved to be their undoing.
One unwitting buyer was NBA player Robin Lopez, an avid Disney collector, who purchased clothing belonging to the animatronic figure “Buzzy” from the former “Cranium Command” attraction. The figure itself, valued at $400,000 is still missing.
Both Spikes and Taunton entered “no contest” pleas.
Spikes, who was charged with dealing in stolen property, was sentenced to 10 years probation. Taunton, charged with grand theft, was sentenced to five years probation.
Both will serve community service and share repayment of more than $25,000 in restitution.
The judge also gave them a specific order, not return to any Disney property while they are on probation.
After the hearing, when asked if he had anything to say, Spikes told reporters, “I’m going to Disney World.”
Investigators said Spikes and Taunton pretended to be working so they could use the secret, underground tunnels for employees only.
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