Birmingham & Black Country

Facebook van man steals Bilston movers' belongings

Becky Szenk and Mark Higgins
Image caption Becky Szenk, pictured with her seven-month-old daughter and Mark Higgins, said the worker was recommended via a friend

A couple have been left devastated after finding a "man with a van" via Facebook who disappeared with all of their belongings.

Becky Szenk and Mark Higgins hired a man to help them move from their flat in Bilston to the Horse and Jockey pub in Walsall Wood, which they now run.

But the man never arrived at their new home and Ms Szenk said the goods taken were worth "easily £10,000".

West Midlands Police confirmed officers were investigating.

Ms Szenk said: "He was recommended to us via a friend on Facebook and we checked out his page because he had a removal site and all the reviews were brilliant, five star, there were approximately 30 to 40 reviews.

"It just turned out totally wrong... it could have been a fake profile."

'Something's gone wrong'

Asked at what point the penny dropped, Ms Szenk said: "I was still in the old property.... and I came over about an hour later to the new property and Mark said 'are they here yet?'

"I thought 'oh no, hang on something's gone wrong here, it's been an hour and it's only a 20-minute journey'.

"I must have tried (phoning) about 20 times at least. The phone just kept going through to voicemail... now when I try, it just cuts off totally."

Mr Higgins said the couple returned to the UK in December after living abroad for a few years and it had "taken us all this time to build... what we had".

He said: "The pub's insured, but I do have personal contents insurance but I only took it out that morning for the pub because we'd just signed for the pub that morning so technically we're not insured."

Ms Szenk said they had had "overwhelming support", including from people they do not know, following the theft last Friday.

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