Grand Theft Case – Stolen R2-D2 from Disney World

July 8, 2022 Criminal Defense, Theft/Property Crimes

Sometimes showing that you’re the right person for the job doesn’t work out the way you intend it to. For one man, his attempt to show his skills landed him with a criminal charge. After the application process for Disney’s security team was taking too long, a man took matters into his own hands.

The man successfully stole two large merchandise items from various Disney hotels. While it may have proven his point that there needs to be more security, the act itself was against the law. In addition, the items were valued at over $10,000, which makes the act a grand theft charge. We will cover the details of the case, along with information on grand theft and employee theft in Florida.

What was the Incident?

Daniel Proudfoot, 44, had applied to work for Walt Disney World as a security guard. He thought that the application process was taking too long, and wanted to show that there was a weakness in the business’ security.

His response was to remove a valued $10,000 R2-D2 Star Wars replica from the Swan Hotel to an undisclosed location. He also stole a game machine from the game center near the Dolphin Hotel which was worth $3,500.

The Orange County Sheriff’s Office was called to the Swan Reserve in response to the missing merchandise. Proudfoot claimed to already be working for Disney for the Disney Yacht Club Resort. According to the arrest report, Proudfoot told police that he took the items to prove that there was a weakness in the security that he could fulfill if he was hired.

However, instead of getting hired, Proudfoot was arrested and charged with grand theft for impersonating a Disney cast member and stealing items valued at more than $10,000.

Grand Theft in Florida

Grand theft is defined in Florida under Statute Section 812.014 as when an individual “knowingly obtains or uses, or attempts to obtain or use another person’s property.” It can be temporary or permanent, the important aspect is that the person stole or attempted to steal something to deprive another person of the right or benefit of the property for his or her use. What makes it grand theft over petit theft is the value of the alleged property that was stolen.

If the value of the stolen property is over $750, it is considered Grant Theft in the state. Grand theft can be considered a felony in the third, second, or first degree. Grand theft as a third-degree felony can include any items valued between $750 and $20,000. Grand theft as a second-degree felony includes any property valued between $20,000 and $100,000. Grand theft as a first-degree felony includes any property worth over $100,000. To read more about what constitutes the different degrees of grand theft felonies, find our informative page here.

Penalties for Grand Theft

The severity of a grand theft penalty depends on the value of the stolen property, however, most of the penalties are very serious in Florida.

For a third-degree grand theft felony, the punishment includes up to a $5,000 fine and up to five years in prison. For a second-degree grand theft felony, the punishment includes up to a $10,000 fine and up to fifteen years in prison. For a first-degree grand theft felony, the punishment includes up to a $10,000 fine and up to thirty years in prison.

In addition to expensive fines and jail time, getting convicted of grand theft can lead to continuous struggles in the future. It may be difficult to find a job, especially a position in which you are trusted with any valuable items. With all of these serious penalties to consider, the best way to protect yourself and your future is to find a grand theft criminal defense attorney in Tallahassee, Florida.

Employee Theft in Florida

Employee theft is defined under Florida Statute Section 812.014 as when an employee of a business completed the following beyond a reasonable doubt:

  • The employee knowingly and unlawfully attempted to steal or actually took money or property that belonged to their employer; and
  • The employee performed the theft or attempted theft with the intent to:
    • Permanently or temporarily deprive the employer of their right to the money or property; or
    • Appropriate the property for the employee’s personal use.

Finding a Defense Attorney in Tallahassee, Florida

If you or a loved one have been accused of a theft crime, make it your top priority to reach out to a skilled defense attorney in your area. Getting accused of a crime can be extremely intimidating, and it is difficult to navigate the legal world on your own. With the help of an experienced Florida criminal defense attorney, you won’t have to. Don Pumphrey and his legal team at Pumphrey Law Firm have experience representing clients all across the state of Florida for various criminal charges and will stand in your corner and fight for your freedom. For a free consultation call (850) 681-7777 or leave an online message on our website.

Written by Karissa Key

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