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Contact Denver7 Getting Results: Moving company returns heirlooms to cancer patient

Longmont Police launched criminal investigation
Posted at 5:05 PM, May 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-18 21:04:13-04

AURORA, Colo. -- When an F-rated moving company held a Longmont cancer patient's heirlooms for more than four months, she turned to Contact Denver7 for help.

Now, consumer investigator Jaclyn Allen is getting results and prompting a criminal investigation.

"I'm feeling relief now," said Kathy Ayres, while unlocking a unit at an Aurora storage facility. "Until now, here with you, I haven't had the chance to feel relief."

In April, Ayres reached out to Contact Denver7, saying she was battling cancer and trying to settle her affairs by moving family heirlooms from Colorado to relatives in Virginia.

The movers packed her heirlooms on New Year's Eve. Four months later, she had no idea where they were.

When Contact Denver7 stepped in, the owner of H&M Relocation Services, who goes by "David Zoda," promised to return Ayres' possessions.

"She can come pick it up her things as soon as I'm back from the trip," said Zoda on the phone. "Just gonna be one week, five days."

Instead texts show owner David Zoda adding more charges.

"Every week additional 645 will be added," the text read.

"It's extortion," said Ayres. "There's no question about it. I felt like he was a pirate. And I wasn't going to get anything back until I paid him money."

Contact Denver7 has learned that Longmont police are now investigating criminal charges of extortion against Zoda.

Other former clients have also come forward. Denver7 also reached out to attorneys at MoveRescue.

"Your story certainly got his attention," said Joshua Swyers, supervising attorney for MoveRescue, a nonprofit that advocates for consumers dealing with bad moves. "We had operated against David, this was our third time. He knew he didn't look good. He knew what he was doing was wrong. He did work with me relatively well once I had calmed him back down and brought him brought him kind of back into reality."

Thanks to MoveRescue, Zoda put Ayres' heirlooms in a nearby storage unit with no more charges.

Ayres, though, would still like to get her $2,400 back, and Contact Denver7 has learned that Longmont police are investigating charges of extortion.

Meanwhile, MoveRescue also helped Kathy find a reputable moving company, coming this week to make sure her heirlooms get where they were supposed to go five months ago.

"Now, it's finally in good hands, and because Channel 7 helped me out, I feel like I can breathe," said Ayers."I've done what I intended to do, which was to pass these things along to other family members."

Editor's note: Denver7 seeks out audience tips and feedback to help people in need, resolve problems and hold the powerful accountable. If you know of a community need our call center could address, or have a story idea for our investigative team to pursue, please email us at or call (720) 462-7777. Find more Contact Denver7 stories here.