Family's missing moving truck found, ransacked

- A missing moving truck with the contents of a Florida family’s entire house has been tracked down, but with almost nothing left in it.

Private paperwork, children’s artwork, one bike, one chair – that’s all that’s left of everything the Garza family owned.

The driver contracted by Florida Van Lines, out of Clearwater, was due in Alabama where the Garzas relocated with the U.S. Coast Guard on July 5, but 10 days later, deputies found the truck in Pensacola, stripped almost bare. The driver, Lorhondo Varnado was arrested for possessing crack cocaine.

FOX 13 News discovered Varnado has been in jail before for drugs and grand theft, leaving the Garza’s wondering about how, or if Florida Van Lines does background checks.

“If they did do one, why did you bother if you were just going to hire someone with a criminal background anyway,” asked Deanna Garza.

The owners of Florida Van Lines wouldn’t unlock their office door or take FOX 13's calls to answer questions about how they vet their movers, instead sending out an employee who helped coordinate the Garza’s move.

“I know they’re getting full reimbursement for everything they lost. I know that doesn’t cover personal things, but anything we can do, we're definitely doing, and there's no hesitation in that, and they're speeding up the process,” said Lance Balch with Florida Van Lines.

He added in his decade plus of working for the company, nothing like this has ever happened.

“This is a horrible situation,” he said.

The company is registered, as required by the state, according to Florida's Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. The Better Business Bureau said it received three complaints over the last few years for Florida Van Lines, but the company responded and currently has an A+ rating.

The Garzas said what happened to them should serve as a warning to anyone making a move.

“We have a brand new house we can't move into because we don't have anything to move into it,” said Deanna Garza.

Her husband, John added, “Take a good inventory of what you have and if you can take it with you then that's probably the best thing you can do.”                   

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