MUSKEGO — Daniel Berczyk is a life-long troublemaker with more than 30 criminal convictions on his record — many of them involving the theft of other people’s property. Four years ago, a FOX6 News investigation helped put him in prison, but now, he’s back on the street and as FOX6 discovered, back in business.
There’s an old saying that a leopard can never change its spots. So, perhaps it’s no surprise that less than a year after he was released from prison, Berczyk is back in the moving business.
Of course, he wasn’t eager to talk about that when FOX6 Investigator Bryan Polcyn showed up at his door.
“You’re not allowed on my property,” Berczyk muttered, as he closed the door to his business and locked it – at one o’clock in the afternoon.
After FOX6 Investigators dubbed him the “Moving Menace” in 2008, police say Berczyk went on a drug-fueled crime spree, breaking into cars all over southeastern Wisconsin.
Berczyk the fled the state, got picked up in Arizona, was extradited to Wisconsin and sent to prison.
Berczyk says it’s a sign of respect.
“I believe that FOX6 saved my life. I’m sober today, because of you. I named my company after you guys, ’cause you guys gave me the name,” Berczyk said.
Crystal Willborn begs to differ.
“He’s making a joke out of it. He’s laughing at people he’s scammed or stolen from, basically. That’s sad,” Willborn said.
“Incredible Moving” quoted her a rate of $119 dollars per hour for three men and a truck. It was the lowest price she could find.
Her boyfriend, Rob Widowski, had paid another company nearly $1,200 dollars to move them a couple of years earlier. They were hoping Incredible Movers could do it for less.
A man named “Pete” came to the house for an estimate. He signed a contract indicating that estimate for the move indicates one truck could handle the job.
“I asked him how long it would take and he said, ‘We can get this done in a day,’” Willborn said.
The day of the move, though, Willborn says the workers showed up late with a truck that was way too small. It took several trips over the course of two days to empty the house.
Two years ago, Blue Mound Express moved them into the same house in 10 hours, but, according to the invoice from Incredible Movers, it took 39.5 hours to move them out.
Berczyk handed them a bill for $5,564.
“I was just in shock,” Widowski said.
When the couple balked at the price, Berczyk threatened to sell their stuff. He wouldn’t even tell them where it was until they paid the bill in full. So, Widowski and Willborn went to Muskego Police. Officers helped them negotiate a lower price, then arranged for Milwaukee Police to escort them to the self-storage lot at 9th and Grange where Berczyk had taken their belongings.
“We were mortified. I mean, our things were just thrown into these trailers. Just thrown in there,” Widowski said.
That’s when Widowski called the FOX6 Investigators, who paid Berczyk a visit.
The last time FOX6 tried to talk to him he kicked FOX6 Investigators off his parents’ front porch in Muskego. This time, the ex-con called the cops. Police asked FOX6 to move, and Berczyk never came out of the building until after FOX6 left. Days later, he agreed to an interview.
“‘All the stuff was falling out of the bottoms of the boxes,” Berczyk said in reference to the Widowski/Willborn move.
Berczyk blamed Willborn for the length of the move, saying she was unprepared.
“They were using used boxes they got out of a dumpster. I don`t know if you are a mover, but I am a mover. Everybody hates to move boxes that are different sizes,” Berczyk said.
Still, Berczyk insists she wasn’t ready.
But, it was something else he said when Willborn came to get the bill that still haunts her.
“He said, ‘Oh, you’re the one in the pictures,’” Willborn said.
She is a former model with a private collection of risque photos, and she thinks the movers must have been rifling through her stuff — a fear that is bolstered by something someone said to her boyfriend out at the storage lot. Another renter pulled him aside and told him that he’d seen people going through their personal property.
“They had [explitive] throughout the whole [expletive] parking lot,” the renter said. “They were were going through everything.”
Berczyk says it was Willborn who was showing off for the workers.
“She wanted them to take pictures. She was showing ‘em she was a model and stuff,” Berczyk said.
Berczyk seems to have an answer for just about everything, except for basic questions, such as – who owns Incredible Moving and Storage?
If it’s not Berczyk, then who is it?
Perhaps it’s the man who identified himself to Willborn only as ‘Pete.’ It appears ‘Pete’ is just a nickname. His legal name is Dan. As in, Daniel Berczyk, Senior.
For years, father and son have operated a series of moving companies under different names including Affordable Moving and Storage, All About Moving and Storage and Best Way Movers.
More recently, we found phone numbers connected to both Berczyk’s that are listed in ads for Incredible Movers, Big Red Movers, Discount Moving and Storage, and a host of no-name moving ads for a ‘family owned’ company with a ‘great reputation.’
Whatever the name, the “Moving Menace” plans to keep on moving.
“Absolutely! I love movin’ furniture,” Berczyk said.
Willborn and Widowski said they are still finding items that were damaged during their move. Incredible Movers said they are only insured up to 60 cents per pound per item. That’s a basic, minimum level of insurance known as “released value.”
An important lesson — when hiring a mover, find out what kind of insurance they offer to make sure you’re protected.
Despite the fact that Berczyk has over 30 criminal convictions, he’s allowed to operate a moving company in Wisconsin because there is no requirement that moving companies be registered or licensed, so there are no criminal background checks.