Not knowing where to start looking for a removal man, Becky Szenk and her fiancé Mark turned toFacebook.
Soon enough Becky, 22, and Mark Higgins found someone by the name of Lee Green, who they thought would help them move the entire contents of the flat.
On the appointed day, two workers arrived and loaded up the van with their belongings – worth around £10,000. But that was the last they saw of the men and their worldly goods.
What appeared to be professionalism to get a job done quickly in fact turned out to be haste to get away.
As soon as the van was loaded – with the contents including the fridge freezer, washing machine and even Miss Szenk’s engagement ring – they disappeared.
They also took includea wardrobe, a sofa, all the couple’s family photos and medical records for their seven-month-old daughter Ariyah.
The Facebook page advertising the removal service has since been taken down.
In all the men, whowere described as courteous and polite and spoke with Black Country accents, took with them around £10,000 of goods, according to the devastated family.
Now the only possession left is the family’s television, which they took with them in their car to prevent it being damaged in the house move to the pub which Mr Higgins manages in Walsall Wood, West Midlands.
Miss Szenk said: ‘The removal men were racing in and out of the flat. We just thought they were being very professional. But once they drove away we didn’t see them again.
‘The only thing they didn’t go was the television, and that’s only because we moved that ourselves in the car as we were worried about it getting damaged,“ Becky added.
‘Everything we own was packed into that van. It all happened so quickly, around 45 minutes from start to finish.
‘They were supposed to meet my partner at the pub but never turned up. We have been left with virtually nothing.’
The couple had invested all of their money into pub, the Horse and Jockey, and were hoping to be able to turn the business into a boomer.
But when Mr Higgins called his partner an hour after the removal men left to say there was no sign of their possessions, the couple realised that something was wrong.
MissSzenk said: ‘The men had told me in advance to pack all of our belongings into boxes and label them up clearly – I didn’t realise at the time, but they took the most valuable items first.
‘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”.’
‘I have neve rcried 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.’
While the family had believed that they were making a fresh start to take over the management of the pub, they have had to rely on the kindness of strangers to get back on their feet.
Miss Szenksaid: ‘We were in our new home on Friday night, but it wasn’t a home, it was four walls. We didn’t even have a blanket to sleep under.
‘Some people have come forward recently to provide us with essentials, but we still don’t have everything.
‘I have to put my daughter first and it important that she is looked after before Mark and I have what we need to live.
‘It’s left us absolutely heartbroken. We can get new furniture but the personal stuff cannot be replaced.
‘For us it’s been a big lesson to learn. I just hope others can be more careful about trusting people they book oversocial media as I would hate for this to happen to anyone else.’
West Midlands Police confirmed they are investigating and treating thecrime as theft.
Spokeswoman Gina Lycett, said: ‘Detectives continue to investigate the theft and are appealing to anyone with information to call West Midlands Police on 101.’
A Gofundme page has been set up to raise money for the family which has so far collected £1,445 worth of donations.