Third man charged in vicious sports card robbery at Wheeling home
A third man has been charged for his role in a 2014 home invasion during which prosecutors say a Wheeling man was beaten with a gun, choked and hogtied before the robbers stole 400 to 500 baseball, basketball and football cards worth between $150,000 and $200,000 from the victim's safes.
Kristopher Muzzall, 27, from the 7000 block of S. South Shore Drive in Chicago, was charged with home invasion and is being held at Cook County jail on $200,000 bail.
Prosecutors say Muzzall broke into the Wheeling man's home Aug. 27, 2014, with one other man, Martrell Robinson, 20, from Chicago, who pleaded guilty for his involvement in the crime and began serving a nine-year prison sentence last month.
Cook County Assistant State's Attorney Anisa Jordan said Robinson hit the homeowner in the head with a gun, kicked him, put a pillowcase over his head and tied his hands. Robinson then told the victim they had been following him for five months and came to take his Michael Jordan and Yasiel Puig cards, Jordan said.
She said Muzzall and Robinson tried to make the victim open his two safes but he couldn't do it. They then choked and strangled the victim while Muzzall held a knife on the victim's back before they finally got the two safes open, Jordan said.
In addition to the sports cards, Robinson took the victim's driver's license, passport, his wife's passport, and his children's Social Security numbers, and threatened to kill all of them if he told anyone, Jordan said. Robinson and Muzzall then hogtied the victim and threw him in the bathtub with the water running before fleeing in the victim's BMW, Jordan said.
According to documents obtained from the Wheeling Police Department, investigators tracked down Muzzall through phone records of calls made during the robbery. Muzzall denied all involvement with the crime when he was arrested on Tuesday but allowed police to take a DNA sample. His DNA matched material found on the victim's shirt, police reports said.
A third man, Steven Chung, 26, of Des Plaines was charged last year in the same robbery. At the time, prosecutors said it was Chung who joined Robinson on the break-in.
Chung had previously met the victim and knew about his card collection. After the robbery, Chung, Muzzall, Robinson and a fourth man went on a road trip to sell the stolen cards to stores in Ohio and Indiana, according to the documents.
Muzzall will next appear in court Aug. 6.
• Daily Herald legal affairs writer Barbara Vitello contributed to this story.