CHARLOTTE, N.C. - In the world of professional wrestling, there are heroes and villains. Outside the ring, World Wrestling Entertainment referee Charles Robinson is battling a real-life heel.
“This above the door, it’s very, very flimsy piece of metal,” Robinson is heard saying in a cell phone video shot at Extra Space Storage on Ardrey Kell Road in Charlotte. “They have two feet to get in. Bad design.”
In May, crooks stole the Charlotte native’s prized horror collection. The monster memorabilia, valued at more than $50,000, is still missing.
“This was something I was going to pass down to my daughter,” Robinson told FOX 46 in July.
FOX 46 wanted to help get results for the WWE Friday Night SmackDown referee, who is active in the community and raises money for charity. Investigative reporter Matt Grant helped arrange a surprise.
“We want to show you something,” Grant told Robinson, who thought he was being interviewed about the lack of progress in his horror heist. “I want you to follow me.”
At the end of his street was a parked car. Sean Morris was waiting.
“Hey Charles how are you? I’m Sean Morris with Morris Costumes,” he said. “We were so moved by your story, and felt so bad for you, we wanted to bring to you…”
“No way,” said Robinson, with a big smile.
“…something to get you started on your Halloween collection again,” said Morris. “So, I brought you a couple of vintage collector’s pieces out of my own personal stash.”
“Man, I am, I am actually very speechless,” said Robinson.
Inside the trunk of Morris’ car was an assortment of horror masks and busts old and new. From a series of rare Dracula masks made in the 1980’s to a brand new IT mask, made popular by the Stephen King novel and movie.
“Oh wow look at this,” Robinson said, laughing, as he picked up the gruesome looking bust of a severed head. “That’s pretty gross.”
Robinson has been a Hollywood and horror collector for 40 years, he said. He collects items from movies that “meant something” to him as a kid. Many of his now stolen items, which he planned to pass down to his daughter, were purchased from Morris Costumes. The nearly 60-year-old Charlotte costume company is now giving back to one of its biggest fans.
“You almost got me to cry,” said Robinson.
Morris co-owns the company and says he was moved by Robinson’s cinematic devotion.
“I knew how valuable and how hard he had to work to get that collection,” said Morris. “We just couldn’t believe somebody would have the gumption to do something of that nature and we just wanted to kind of help get him a good start to his horror collection.”
“That’s amazing. Thank you so, so much,” said Robinson, who gave Morris a hug.
“You’re so welcome,” said Morris.
“You got me,” Robinson said turning to Grant. “You got me.”
Robinson wonders why his unit was the only one that was broken into. Extra Space Storage called the incident “unusual” and “targeted.” In response to the theft, the entire horror community is coming together to support Robinson. The Days of the Dead horror convention gave Robinson two free VIP passes to its Charlotte event, where twin horror filmmakers the Soska Sisters , gave Robison a costume from their new movie Rabid.
“We were so sad when we heard the FOX 46 story about what happened,” said Jen Soska.
“We know that [Robinson] is a big fan of horror so we thought we might be able to do something nice to give back,” said Sylvia Soska.
Back inside Robinson’s home, he showed us his “horror room.” It is an home to the horror classics that defined his childhood, complete with a blood-paint splattered Carrie bathroom and several life-sized costumed manikins of Freddy Kreuger, Jason Voorhees and Michael Myers.
Now, he is adding a few more cherished additions.
“We were just so glad that we could be a part of this,” said Morris, who jumped at the chance to help when contacted by Grant. “And Charles, we hope you enjoy this for many years to come.”
“This has made a really traumatic event much less traumatic,” said Robinson. “I’m deeply, deeply grateful and humbled by all of this…Thank you to FOX 46 for putting all of this together and getting all of these great results for me.”
Robinson spotted one of his stolen items for sale on eBay. He says police may have located some other items, as well. CMPD officials say there is no update on the break-in investigation.
“No one has been charged in this case,” a CMPD spokesperson said. “There are no updates to provide other than what has been listed in the public report.”
Easy Space Storage Statement
FOX 46 asked Extra Space Storage about the gap found above Robinson’s storage unit and why, he says, there are no surveillance cameras aimed at the units. A spokesperson would not comment on that.
“I don’t have any updates beyond my original statements that we have turned over our surveillance footage to local authorities and will continue to assist the investigation however we can,” said McKall Morris. “We do not have a history of break-ins at this location other than this singular, unusual, targeted break-in. The safety and security of our facilities is a top priority for Extra Space Storage.”
A special thanks to all who helped make this happen: