Ventura County – With “California dreams” undoubtedly motivating a transcontinental move, a customer contracted with Flat Rate Movers to transport personal property and effects from her Atlanta residence to her new home in Thousand Oaks, with a “move date” of October 23rd.
According to the complaint filed by the westward-bound customer and the subsequent report to the media by Thousand Oaks Police Department and Ventura County Sheriff’s East County Major Crimes Unit spokesman Detective Todd Welty, once the customer’s property was taken from her Atlanta residence, she received a phone call from Jack Earlton Romanski, 44, the principal agent of Flat Rate Movers, “during which he informed her of additional charges amounting to thousands of dollars.”
The customer—soon to realize she was a victim—paid the additional non-contracted charges out of concern that her property would not be returned.
Nearly two weeks later, the victim was again contacted by Romanski as he demanded even additional sums of money for “delivery charges”, according to Welty. She was also reportedly warned against contacting the police at the risk of never seeing her property again.
It was at that point that the victim contacted local law enforcement, and with their guidance, agreed to pay Romanski the additional money when he made delivery of her goods. When Romanski, driving the Flat Rate Movers truck, arrived at the Thousand Oaks residence with the victim’s property, he was summarily arrested by Thousand Oaks Police Detectives and charged with extortion.
Romanski was booked into Ventura County Jail’s Pre-Trial Detention Facility where he remains on $10,000 bail.
Pursuant to this investigation and arrest, the Thousand Oaks Police Department has posted multiple public warnings and guidelines relative to the engagement of moving van services.
Photo: Courtesy Ventura County Sheriff
Private Officer: Thousand Oaks Police Charge Flat Rate Movers with Extortion