Florida Man Poses as Cast Member, Steals $10,000 ‘R2-D2 Droid’ in Supposed Attempt to Earn a Job in Disney World Security
A man was caught and arrested for impersonating a hotel guest and a Cast Member as he took a gold necklace and an R2-D2 droid worth about $10,000, according to sheriff’s reports detailing the man’s scheme that unfolded across Disney property this year.
David Proudfoot, 44, of Kissimmee, is facing several criminal charges, including grand theft.
Proudfoot caught security’s attention last month as he pushed a cart on Epcot Resorts Boulevard to Walt Disney World Swan Reserve. He wore a Disney World name tag that said “David” and a bright orange safety vest.
The security officer “noticed the behavior as (suspicious) and offered to assist the male with the cart onto the property. The male appeared confused about the location of loading docks or proper procedures of the Swan Reserve. Security then called deputies to respond,” the arrest report said.
Proudfoot claimed to be David Rodgers and said he was a Walt Disney Company employee stationed at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort’s receiving division.
But there were plenty of red flags that Proudfoot was lying.
Disney security said there was no record of anybody with that name working at the company. The man whom Proudfoot claimed was his boss works in Burbank, California. And when Proudfoot — accompanied by the sheriff’s office — went to the Yacht Club where he supposedly worked, he got lost. He clearly didn’t know proper employee procedures. He couldn’t open an employee locker where he claimed to have left his belongings.
Finally, Proudfoot admitted his real name and showed deputies his driver’s license. Authorities believe he was trying to distract them from the thefts, so he led them around the Yacht Club. Proudfoot concealed his identity for three and a half hours, the report said.
Proudfoot admitted he moved an R2-D2 droid worth between $6,000 to $10,000 from the Swan Hotel’s third floor to “an unknown location at the Swan reserve.” The report said Proudfoot was “temporarily depriving the Swan hotel of full use of that product.” Details about the R2 unit were not given, but it was likely one of the stationary models used as photo ops at the resorts.
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Proudfoot also said he took a game machine called the “Duck Catcher” from the game center on the first floor of the Dolphin Hotel. The game was worth $3,500, according to another sheriff’s report.
Proudfoot told a sheriff’s sergeant, “he had an application for Walt Disney World Security pending and was moving the items to show weaknesses in the security of the resorts in the hope of securing a better paying job at WDW.”
Proudfoot is represented by the public defender’s office, according to court records. The office does not comment on cases, a representative told WDWNT on Tuesday.
It wasn’t the first time Proudfoot, a disgraced educator, had been accused of stealing or lying about his identity.
On Valentine’s Day, Proudfoot paid for a $703 gold necklace by charging it to somebody else’s room at the Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort, according to an arrest report filed May 31 in Orange Circuit Court.
The Baltimore Sun newspaper previously reported Proudfoot had been accused of stealing about $15,000 from the school system in Baltimore County, where he once worked as an elementary school principal, according to a 2015 story.
“The alleged theft involved ‘fraudulent reimbursements,’ in which Proudfoot said he was buying items for the school but did not,” the Sun’s story said. By the time he was charged with the crime in Maryland, Proudfoot had already moved to Florida and was working as an assistant principal at Seminole County Schools. He soon resigned, the story noted.
On social media, Proudfoot says he works as an educational leader and executive director for Foot Forwards to help students. Foot Forwards’ website is no longer active.