Action 9: Moving company loses $50,000 worth of couple's belongings

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A Lake County couple said $50,000 worth of their possessions disappeared after they hired a moving company to store it.

But the movers blamed a storage company for auctioning off the family's belongings. Action 9's Todd Ulrich found the moving company has a controversial history.

Ron and Cynthia St. Laurent now only have pictures of many prized possessions they said disappeared after hiring Little John's Movers to store it.

“You can't find those things. I'm sorry, it's things I've looked at and collected all my life,” said Cynthia St. Laurent.

When the company delivered their belongings in September, they said half of it was missing.

“Where is the rest of your property?” asked Ulrich.

“I really wish I knew. I have no idea,” said Ron St. Laurent.

There were rugs, furniture and art work missing from the couple's belongings, bringing the total loss to about $50,000. Ron told Channel 9 the movers had no explanation.

“And we still didn't know anything until we got a tip it was at a different storage unit in a different city," said Ron.

The couple soon discovered the movers had stored half of their possessions at Billy's Storage, a location they never knew about. The movers then blamed Billy's Storage for auctioning off the belongings over a rental dispute.

“It was unbelievable someone could be so irresponsible,” said Cynthia.

So Ulrich went to Billy's Storage near the Villages looking for answers.

“How can their property just disappear?” asked Ulrich.

“I have no knowledge of what you’re talking about,” said the manager at Billy’s Storage.

Another manager claimed the moving company had removed the couple's possessions.

Action 9 checked Little John's Mover's last known address and the company had moved out. By phone, there was a message from Bobby at Little John’s. It was moving manager Bobby Blatchford, who is currently serving probation for burglary and trafficking stolen property. Blatchford and his boss didn't return Ulrich's calls.

Ulrich helped the St. Laurents file a complaint with state regulators.

“I just don't know if I can continue. I'm close to a breakdown about it,” said Cynthia.

Little John's Movers is rated 'F' with the BBB for several unanswered complaints. Since the family contacted Action 9, the storage company found some missing pieces that were returned to the couple.