We’ve been following the Walt Disney World theft case since last May, and the suspect has finally been sentenced. The only problem is that the Buzzy animatronic is still missing. and there’s no resolution to that plot point in sight.
The Walt Disney World theft case has been a rather bizarre story, which we first began covering when someone absconded with the beloved animatronic Buzzy over a year ago. All signs seemed to point towards a man named Patrick Allen Spikes, who ran the now defunct account @BackDoorDisney on Twitter. He was arrested last April for theft, including tons of Haunted Mansion props that he’d (not so) smartly taken pictures wearing.
And now Spikes has been sentenced. Yay for some resolution to this incredibly bizarre Walt Disney World theft mystery!
After a plea deal (because, let’s be real, he very clearly did it and this was the best route strategically), he was sentenced to 10 years of probation, 250 hours of community service, and must pay more than $25,000 in restitution. His partner in crime, Blayton Taunton, received a lighter sentence with just 5 years of probation and 150 hours of community service. Neither are allowed to visit any Disney Parks which, like, that’s totally fair.
All of this is well and good, but where the heck is Buzzy? We still don’t know. Spikes has maintained his innocence in regards to the mascot itself, though he was directly tied to the theft of his clothing when he attempted to sell them to NBA player Robin Lopez.
The animatronic is valued at over $400,000, so if there was enough evidence to convict him on that, he likely wouldn’t have received such a light sentence. But the mascot went missing at the same time that Spikes and Taunton stole all the other stuff. And he had the clothing. And he tweeted a picture of Buzzy’s head. All signs point to him, but what gives? Where is it?
At this point, I have my own personal pet theory. I think he did steal it and fully planned on hawking it like all the rest of the merch. But the animatronic was stolen later than everything else and I feel like the walls were starting to close in on him at that point.
He may have realized that it would be difficult to unload such a recognizable and expensive object, and anyone who is a serious enough collector to unload hundreds of thousands of dollars for the object would be aware that he’d been stolen. Trapped and with no way to offload our dear sweet Buzzy in a way that’d result in a profit, he could have dumped him in a swamp somewhere.
That’s right. I think Buzzy became gator chow.
This is, of course, just my personal theory. We really have no idea what happened to him. It’s possible the timing was a complete coincidence and someone else snagged him from Cranium Command. The easy access to that area was an open secret among Walt Disney World fans, so it’s possible.
The mystery of Buzzy’s fate may never be resolved. But at the very least we got some resolution to the rest of the Walt Disney World theft case. Some resolution is better than none.
Author: Angel Wilson
Angel is the admin of The Geekiary and a geek culture commentator. They earned a BA in Film & Digital Media from UC Santa Cruz. They have contributed to various podcasts and webcasts including An Englishman in San Diego, Free to Be Radio, and Genre TV for All. They’ve also written for Friends of Comic Con and is a 2019 Hugo Award winner for contributing fanfic on AO3. They identify as queer.
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