UPDATE 12/02/19: Based on witness lists, NBA superstar Robin Lopez could be called as a witness during the trial of Patrick Spikes.
Lopez and his friend Brett Finley were included today an a list of possible witnesses released by the state attorney’s office.
Several Walt Disney World Cast Members in costuming for animatronics, character performing, and security, are also on the list.
The trial is expected to begin in January.
Source: Orlando Sentinel
UPDATE 10/30/19: According to the Orlando Sentinel, Milwaukee Bucks player Robin Lopez confirmed that he has returned the missing items of clothing from “Buzzy”, the Cranium Command animatronic that officials said were stolen prior to being returned to the Disney’s archives in California.
Lopez reportedly responded via text message to the Orlando Sentinel on Tuesday. The text message did not clarify whether he returned the clothes to the Orange County Sheriff’s Office or to Disney directly.
The Orlando Sentinel also reports that the “Orange County Sheriff’s Office declined to say whether Buzzy’s clothes were returned and referred comment to Disney. Disney representatives called the issue a law enforcement matter and also declined to comment.”
The Orlando Sentinel recently submitted a public records request to the state attorney’s office in Florida for information relating to the seemingly high-profile case against Patrick Spikes and his cousin, Blaytin Taunton concerning items that were stolen from Walt Disney World.
In audio interviews that were released, it was discovered that Milwaukee Bucks player Robin Lopez, who is a long-time Disney fan, was in possession of several pieces of missing pieces including some that were part of a vintage Epcot animatronic from Cranium Command named Buzzy.
According to the report, some of the audio between Orange County sheriff’s investigators was recorded back in April of this year and included Lopez’s friend, Brett Finley, who is an avid Disney collector and Club 33 Member from Winter Park. More light was shed on the case in that audio interview, including Lopez’s association as a victim in the case.
During his April interview with investigators, Finley confirmed that Lopez bought Buzzy’s clothes from Spikes after they corresponded on eBay. Records do not say whether or not the items were returned to Disney.
Although the audio did not specifically say which pieces Lopez purchased from Spikes, the ‘Buzzy’ animatronic, valued at $400,000, went missing in 2018 along with his bomber jacket, headphones, and a green hat which were valued at $7,000.
Finley also stated that he “remembered seeing Buzzy’s headphones in the trunk of Spikes’ white BMW when the two met after Finley wanted to buy his memorabilia last summer. “He said he’s really into it, Buzzy is his favorite guy,” Finley told authorities.
‘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.”
Finley told authorities he gave Spikes more than $8,000 for nostalgic pieces from rides that were no longer in operation and one-of-a-kind memorabilia from the Magic Kingdom attractions. He bought signs taken from Hollywood Studios’ Great Movie Ride and Body Wars at Epcot. He also purchased a dress belonging to a “ghostly” dancing animatronic in the Haunted Mansion ride and a door from Storybook Circus, all from the Magic Kingdom.
Spikes and Taunton are both facing charges of dealing in stolen property, grand theft, and burglarizing a structure at the Magic Kingdom between July 2018 and January 8, 2019, to which they’ve both pleaded not guilty. Additionally, Spikes is charged with burglary of a building at Epcot, according to court records.