CROWN POINT, Ind. (CBS) — With two mattresses strapped to the back and a couple of bicycles, a mini-trampoline, and other items hanging by a cord in front of them, the moving truck that transported Alexandra Deliopoulos and her husband’s personal effects might evoke the opening credits from “The Beverly Hillbillies.”
It was actually all the work of an actual licensed moving company – but that’s only part of the story. As CBS 2’s Tim McNicholas reported Thursday night, this tale also involves the police, prescription pills, and a pregnant woman.
Deliopoulos showed us what happened to those mattresses that were strapped to the back of the truck. They were left “soaking wet and moldy.”
Meanwhile, the big-screen TV was left broken.
“You can see like there’s a huge crack that goes all the way down,” Deliopoulos said.
A mirror was left shattered.
“I just don’t get it,” Deliopoulos said.
It might not sound like a laughing matter. But as Deliopolous explained from her couch that’s missing its legs, laughing is about all she can do.
“I’m trying really hard to keep the stress down for baby, right?” Deliopoulos said. “Seven months pregnant –we’re almost there.”
With a baby on the way, Deliopoulos and her husband, Jesse Velez, decided to move from Nevada to Crown Point, Indiana to be closer to family. They hired Allstate Moving and Storage – who told them their “Total Guaranteed Price” was $5,112.75.
But then, Allstate Moving subcontracted another company, Easy Moving Express. The problems started on their March 1 moving day.
“It was so much fun,” Deliopoulos said. “They closed the truck, and demanded five more grand for them to even start the truck and leave.”
The movers eventually did take the stuff. But nine days later, Deliopoulos and Velez learned the truck was in Mississippi – broken down.
A mechanic sent the couple photos of a jam-packed truck, with those beds and bikes strapped to the back. Velez was so concerned that he flew to Mississippi and tried to get the stuff himself, but the movers wouldn’t let him near the truck.
This was even though the couple says they’d already paid about $7,000.
“Nobody deserves this,” Deliopoulos said. “You can’t call yourself movers and not have any regard for anyone’s personal things,”
On March 28, the movers finally showed up – with nothing hanging outside the truck – and demanded even more money to open the truck up. So Velez called 911 and recorded several videos.
A police report says an officer told one of the movers “to release the property… or he would be charged.” The mover refused, “and was transported to the Lake County Jail.”
But someone else from the company later decided to release the stuff, so the police let the mover go.
The movers had no explanation for some missing items – which Velez said in the video included an entire chair – nor did they have an explanation for some items that were damaged and broken.
The movers further had no explanation for the items the couple got that belong to someone else – like the medication with the name Athena Gipson.
Deliopolous played cyber detective, messaged an Athena Gipson on social media, and learned she had recently moved from Texas to Georgia with the same movers.
They started exchanging messages – only to discover they each had some of the other’s property.
“They held the stuff hostage, basically,” Gipson said.
Gipson also said the movers demanded more money and claimed her stuff took up too much space before finally delivering some of it after a month. And it turned out she wound up with some of Deliopoulos’ clothes.
They’re now mailing it all back to each other.
Gipson even shared her story on TikTok to warn others. In a TikTok video, she called the movers “”absolute criminals.”
“I just don’t want these guys to do this to more people,” Gipson told McNicholas. “I mean, I was sitting there thinking it was just me.”
Actually, 12 people complained to the U.S. Department of Transportation about Allstate Moving and Storage so far this year. There were 10 complaints are about “Deceptive Business Practices.”
The company has also earned an F rating with the Better Business Bureau.
So we called the company’s office in Florida about the situation. Someone in customer service claimed Alexandra and Jesse were charged more because their belongings took up more space than anticipated – which the couple denies.
He also said they can file insurance claims for damaged – and told McNicholas that if he’d moved around much, he’d understand things like this happen.
McNicholas replied, “I’ve moved a few times. I’ve never had it like this – I’ll tell you right now.”
The Allstate Moving and Storage staffer also said another employee would call us back to answer more questions. We were still waiting late Thursday.
We also never got a call back the subcontractor, Easy Moving Express.
As for that insurance claim, Deliopoulos and Gipson both got confusing emails saying the supposed claims processor no longer works with Allstate Moving.