We have been following the story of missing Walt Disney World items for quite some time. As it turns out, NBA star and lifelong Disney fan Robin Lopez reportedly unknowingly purchased some of those stolen items, according to the Orlando Sentinel.
- The Orlando Sentinel is reporting that NBA Star Robin Lopez has returned the items he’d purchased from Patrick Spikes.
- Lopez had unknowingly purchased items that had been stolen from Walt Disney World.
- The Sentinel says Lopez confirmed with them via text message that he returned the clothing that belonged to the Buzzy animatronic.
- He did not say whether he returned the items to Disney or the Orange County Sheriff's Office.
- Lopez did not respond to The Sentinel’s request for an interview.
- According to recently released audio interviews between investigators and Lopez’s friend, Brett Finley, both the NBA star and Finley purchased items from Patrick Spikes, a former Walt Disney World cast member who is accused of stealing multiple items from the resort.
- Lopez reportedly purchased clothes from the animatronic Buzzy on eBay, according to Finley’s interview which occurred in April.
- Finley himself is a Disney collector who had bonded with Lopez over their mutual love of Disney.
- While the interview did not specify what clothes Lopez had, the missing items include a bomber jacket, headphones and green hat, valued at a total of $7,000.
- Finley recalled seeing Buzzy’s headphones in the trunk of Spikes’ car when they had met after Finley wanted to buy some of his memorabilia.
- Finley explained that both he and Lopez tried to make sure the items they were buying were not stolen, saying “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.’”
- Investigators stressed that both Lopez and Finley are being treated as victims in this case.
- They’re not the only victims. According to authorities, an Orlando attorney who knew Finley had also purchased items from Spikes.
- According to Finley, Lopez would be “100%” willing to cooperate with authorities on the case.
- Spikes and his cousin, Blaytin Taunton, face charges of dealing in stolen property, grand theft, and burglarizing a structure at the Magic Kingdom.
- Spikes is also charged with burglary of a building at Epcot.
- Finley told authorities he gave Spikes more than $8,000 for some of his memorabilia, including signs from the Great Movie Ride and a dress from the Haunted Mansion.
- Both Robin and his twin brother Brook are scheduled to appear at the NBA Experience at Disney Springs on Halloween.