We have all been fooled at least once in our life due to our innate human ability to see the good in everyone. From Kevin Spacey to Harvey Weinstein, to Katie Holmes and Jamie Foxx’s secret relationship, we have all been led up the garden path.
However, that didn’t make it any easier for Becky Szenk and Mark Higgins from Walsall, England, who had the entire contents of their house stolen after being enticed by a seductive Facebook post from a ‘removal company’.
Cluelessly, the young family watched as $13,500 worth of their own belongings was driven away by a removal man that they had hired via Facebook. They presumed that it was being delivered to their new home, but in actual fact, that was the last time they’d see their possessions – which included Miss Szenk’s engagement ring and their 7-month-old baby daughter’s birth certificate.
The couple booked ‘Lee Green’ to transfer their belongings from their old home to their new place of residence; The Horse and Jockey pub.
They had used every spare bit of cash that they’d frugally saved in order to acquire the pub which was to be their new home and business venture. So, when ‘Lee Green’ disappeared with their home in the back of a van, they were left with nothing.
‘Lee Green’ and his accomplices made off with their fridge freezer, washing machine, and vital paperwork. The only thing they left behind was the family’s television, which they’d opted to take themselves to save it getting damaged.
At the time, 22-year-old Miss Szenk and her fiancé Mr. Higgins, were oblivious to any abnormalities as the ‘removal men’ quickly cleared their entire home. In fact, their swift action in emptying the house prompted Szenk to comment on their professionalism.
“They were racing in and out of the flat. We just thought they were being very professional,” she said. “When I commented on how fast they were completing their work, one of them told me that ‘we have a lot of jobs on today’.”
“The men had told me in advance to pack all of our belongings into boxes and label them up clearly – I didn’t realize at the time, but they took the most valuable items first.”
Once finished, the van was then supposed to arrive at the Horse and Jockey pub, where Higgins was waiting. However, they never arrived. “I have never cried more in my life than I did on Friday afternoon – I am so distraught that they have taken my engagement ring and my baby’s toys,” a heartbroken Szenk recalled.
“For us it’s been a big lesson to learn. I just hope others can be more careful about trusting people they book over social media as I would hate for this to happen to anyone else.”
The couple reported the incident to the police, who are currently investigating the crime. Meanwhile, ‘Lee Green’s’ Facebook page has been taken down. “It’s left us absolutely heartbroken. We can get new furniture but the personal stuff cannot be replaced,” Szenk said.
In an attempt to rebuild their home, the family launched a GoFundMe page which saw generous donors gift $5,285. Not only that, but they also received $4,000 in donated items, ranging from a couch to a fridge freezer.
The family has been touched by the generosity of friends, family, and strangers, however, the scars from the event still show. “I invited them into my home,” Szenk said, before going on to say how the removal men had seen her seven-month-old daughter and stopped to talk to her, whilst discussing their own children.
While the family has gotten back on their feet, overwhelmed by the support they have received, they are still heartbroken to have lost their personal belongings. “I’ve lost family pictures, my first Mother’s Day gifts, my engagement bracelet, and ring. It was engraved,” Szenk explained.
Their sad story serves as a reminder to all to ensure that you fully trust those that you employ to carry out work for you, and that sometimes trying a cheaper alternative isn’t always the best.
However, Facebook isn’t all bad. In fact, it can be used for good, as this woman discovered when users helped her locate her stolen bike…