Episode 5 The Sheriffs Are Coming


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Episode 5

Series following high court enforcement officers. Sheriffs try to help a man who decided to sell his precious collection of antiques but ended up out of pocket.


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Transcript


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Meet the sheriffs.

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My name's Mr Grix. My colleague and I are enforcement agents.

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We're here with a High Court order today.

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They work for the High Court, and if a judge says you're owed money,

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it's the sheriffs' job to go and get it.

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-Here are all the keys.

-I'm going to be calling a locksmith.

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They can demand payment on the spot...

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-What can you pay us now?

-Going to get the cash, are you?

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-Are you paying the bill?

-..or remove assets instead.

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You've got 30 minutes to make the payment,

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or we'll start removing stuff from the building.

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You'll have a week to pay in full before they get sold at auction.

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Obstructing their work can be a criminal offence.

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I wouldn't do that if I was you.

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-Don't lie to me.

-No mess tins.

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Every year, sheriffs in England and Wales recover unpaid debts

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totalling more than £80 million.

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Coming up, Tommy and Mike have a £13,000 debt to recover

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at a residential address.

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-Hello?

-The debtor can't pay, but there's a very special car

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on the driveway.

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That's a nice motor.

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I'm thinking this could be the one that's going to go.

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Ron Garratt lost money and a collection of antiques

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when a shop suddenly closed down.

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I trusted Nick - he was very friendly,

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but eventually, he stopped talking to me.

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Jess and Billy are on the hunt for his money.

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We're going to force entry into the shop

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within about the next ten or 15 minutes if she doesn't attend.

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And, after a jeweller sold a customer's Rolex,

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and didn't hand over the money, Rob and Gerald pay him a visit.

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-Time's up.

-Where are the keys for all of these drawers?

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-I want to empty them.

-Excuse me.

-I'm taking everything.

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-Everything?

-Everything!

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This afternoon, Tommy Coyle and Mike Perkins are in Hampshire.

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Today, we're off to a residential property.

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We're looking for a Miss Lisa Berglin and a Dr Richard Berglin.

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We're looking for around £14,000.

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The couple were taken to court by their ex-landlords

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following a dispute over rent for their previous home.

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The Berglins lost, but then applied for a set-aside,

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which would have meant that the case was re-heard.

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The court refused, and the original judgment still stood.

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The couple then applied for a variation order,

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which was granted, and repayments were set at £2,500 a month.

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But then the Berglins didn't pay as agreed.

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Now their former landlords have got a High Court writ.

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Today, Richard and Lisa Berglin owe...

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Enforcing personal debts at residential properties can be tricky

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for the sheriffs, as they can't force entry to search for goods.

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Fortunately, their file contains some useful information

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about what assets to expect.

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We've been informed that there is a number of nice vehicles -

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get a nice big yellow clamp out,

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put it on the wheel, and prompt the payment.

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When Tommy and Mike arrive at the property,

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they find exactly what they were hoping for.

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There you go, we've got three vehicles there,

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two high-end value vehicles.

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It looks like there is a vehicle that has the Porsche badge on.

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Yeah, this is paying all day long, this is.

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In fact, there are four vehicles on the drive.

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Nice to see plenty of assets - always good.

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Tommy and Mike make their way to the front door.

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They knock, but there's no answer.

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There's a few lights on in the house around that side,

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CCTV round the corner,

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but I can't see any movement in there.

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With no-one to talk to, Mike checks out the vehicles on the drive.

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The Porsche is unlocked.

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And in our diligent search, see if we can come upon any documentation

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to see obviously who owns it.

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Sheriffs don't have right of entry at residential properties,

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but they are entitled to open unlocked doors, including car doors.

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-What was the defendant's name?

-Richard?

-Yeah, Dr Richard Berglin.

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Yeah.

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The letter indicates the Porsche 4X4 could belong to the man

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they're looking for.

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But it's what's under the other cover

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that really interests Tommy and Mike.

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Oh, that's nice!

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That's a nice motor.

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I'm thinking this could be the one that's going to go.

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It looks like a Mercedes-AMG SL 65 Black series -

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A car that when new cost over £200,000.

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But it's a few years old now.

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What's the registration?

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-It's not on it, mate.

-It's not on here, either.

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Tommy is just about to call his office

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to let them know what he's found,

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when Mike spots movement from inside the property.

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There's someone in the house.

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KNOCKS ON WINDOW

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Hello!

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The man comes to the French windows to speak to them.

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Is it Dr Berglin?

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We need to speak to somebody,

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because we're going to be removing some vehicles off the drive.

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We're enforcement agents.

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Dr Berglin asks us to leave his garden,

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and tells the sheriffs the 4X4

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has already been levied against by another company.

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He says the Mercedes sports car belongs to a company

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that he used to be part of, so neither car can be removed.

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Tommy is not put off that easily.

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Well, what's the situation trying to get this paid, then?

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At the moment, I think we would be interested in that.

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So... If you don't want to try and get this paid,

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then we'll just have to carry on for now.

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We'll have a look at this Merc.

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With Tommy eyeing up his car, Dr Berglin comes outside,

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and asks if there's a possibility of setting up a payment plan

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to clear the debt.

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We can still look to try to come to some sort of arrangement.

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I mean, if we're left with no other avenue, then, you know...

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We're going to need a good down-payment

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due to the fact of how much this is worth.

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But there's no down-payment offer on the table.

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To have any chance of getting their client's money,

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the sheriffs might need to take one of the vehicles.

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The biggest issue's going to be physically moving it.

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The hydraulic fluid's gone out the front. It can't be moved.

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It would have to be basically lifted up and onto the back.

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Moving the Mercedes is making Tommy nervous.

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It's not made any easier when Dr Berglin tells them

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he doesn't have the key for it at the house.

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It might be time to have another look at the Porsche.

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In good condition,

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either car should raise at auction the £13,380 needed.

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-Going to be a lot easier to move, isn't it?

-Of course it is.

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Dr Berglin doesn't have paperwork to prove the Mercedes

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belongs to a company rather than himself,

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but he does hand Mike a document

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which seems to show the Porsche is already under control.

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Is that the full agreement, is it? Can I have a look?

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If the car is on someone else's list,

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Tommy and Mike can't take it.

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Mike calls the company to make sure.

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We just want to find out if you guys have got any interest

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in this vehicle any more.

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They don't. The case is no longer in their hands.

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That means the car could be removed, but it's not that simple.

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-This has got no engine in it.

-There is an engine. It's just...

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It's just in pieces.

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The value is dramatically decreased due to the engine being missing.

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We'll have to do it Fred Flintstone style with your feet out the bottom.

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Run along.

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Although at first it looked like

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there were thousands of pounds' worth of vehicles on the drive,

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the sheriffs are struggling.

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I couldn't think of two worse cars to try and move.

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At that moment, Dr Berglin says he has an appointment elsewhere,

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and leaves.

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He's left us here with this,

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cos he knows it's just going to be a nightmare to get out.

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With an asset worth this much in front of him,

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Tommy isn't going give up easily.

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He gets on to the office.

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It's not running, but it looks like one hell of a car.

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But it's that low to the floor, the suspension's shot.

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It's literally hugging the floor.

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The car is sitting so deep in the gravel, Tommy's worried

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they'll cause thousands of pounds of damage by trying to move it.

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Dr Berglin told Tommy the Merc isn't just a run-of-the-mill

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factory spec supercar.

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It's apparently had a McLaren engine conversion.

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The office is impressed.

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-ON PHONE:

-It's super rare. Super rare.

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-It's super rare?

-It's going.

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It's not often the sheriffs think they'll recover nearly £14,000

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for their client in one visit to a residential property.

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And despite the difficulty in removing the car,

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Tommy's mind is made up.

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We're looking at taking this asset,

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which we believe has a lot of value in it.

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At the moment, we're getting some specialist contractors down here,

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going to uplift it, put it on the back, gone. Job done.

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Job done, as Mr Coyle said.

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He calls his favourite removal man,

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and it looks like he'll get the car removed and the debt repaid.

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Bye-bye. Bye, bye.

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Apparently, he's removed Ferraris really low profile in the past,

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so he's got a vehicle that should be able to do it. So it's looking good.

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The only issue we've got against us now is time running away,

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and it's getting dark, so I'd rather not be doing it in the dark.

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Tommy takes a photo and sends it over for his man to evaluate.

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But he doesn't get the answer he was hoping for.

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It's not liftable. You can't get anything even worse.

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The low level it is,

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the fact it's on gravel, the position it's in, and with no key.

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They're so close, but no-one wants to take responsibility

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for doing such a difficult job in the dark.

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I just don't want to come back tomorrow and this car's gone.

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Let's clamp it, then. You've got to be dead careful.

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Even clamping such a car is risky,

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and Tommy watches as Mike gets down to business.

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Hang on, the jacket's coming off. He means business.

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-What did your last skivvy die of?

-Cheers.

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You should see how low it is under here, man.

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-I know.

-It's proper low.

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The wheels alone are probably worth more than some of the cars

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Mike's removed, so he's taking it very slowly.

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Just as he's finished, Dr Berglin is back.

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What we're doing, just to explain - the vehicle, we have to clamp it.

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-Right.

-We're going to be leaving it here tonight. They want it removed.

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-Right.

-So we're going to be back.

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Dr Berglin tucks his car in for what might be the last time.

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And that's as far as the sheriffs can go tonight.

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If Dr Berglin wants to save his car,

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he's got an extra day to come up with the money.

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Later, Tommy and Mike return in daylight,

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and this time with a recovery truck.

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ENGINE REVS

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Using the county courts to try and recover money you're owed

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isn't difficult.

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1.5 million money claims are paid every year in England and Wales

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involving anything from faulty goods or poor workmanship

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to unpaid invoices.

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Claims can be filed online or by post for a small fee.

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Both parties in the case will be asked to submit evidence,

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and you may have to attend a court hearing.

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If you're successful, a county court judgment or CCJ will be issued

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against the debtor. If they still don't pay,

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that's when you call the sheriffs.

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Enforcement agents Jess Paton and Billy Evans are in Northamptonshire

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heading to an antique shop.

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Today we're heading to Larch Antiques.

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They debt we're looking for is £1,797.44.

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That's not a massive debt, so hopefully we can get it resolved.

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The writ against a Mr and Mrs Hunter.

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They used to run a different antique shop nearby,

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which closed owing money to Ron Garrett.

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He and his late wife Karen were enthusiastic collectors.

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Now 70, Ron met Karen in 1968.

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I was in the Air Force, working on the Vulcan bomber.

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I met Karen on a blind date. I don't like dancing particularly,

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but I must've had a bit of a jig and a few pints, and so on.

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I fell in love straight away. She was absolutely gorgeous.

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We were married for 42 years.

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In that time, they developed a shared passion for antiques.

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Most Sundays, probably Saturday as well,

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we used to go to a fair or a flea market.

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I collected lots of writing instruments, writing boxes.

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Karen liked anything that was old, especially Victorian sewing pieces.

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In 2012, after suffering from cancer for some time, Karen passed away.

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I miss her every day. I didn't want to come home...

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HE SNIFFS

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..without her.

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It was God's own job just to shut the curtains.

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Ron handed down some of their most precious items

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to their two children,

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but eventually decided that much of the collection should be sold.

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It's a hard decision, because we'd collected all the parts together.

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I remember saying loads of times,

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cos obviously, Karen knew she was dying, as well,

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and she said, "Don't you sell my stuff!"

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HE LAUGHS

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I'm expecting a bolt of lightning coming through the ceiling any time.

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I do feel guilty, but the kids don't want them all,

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and I don't want them to end up in house clearance.

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Ron found a local antique shop called Hunter's Emporium,

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run by Nick and Helen Hunter.

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He rented some cabinet space in their shop,

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and they began to sell the items on his behalf.

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Nick and Helen were so friendly, and I trusted them.

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She paid me monthly.

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Some months, it was very slow to get my money,

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and very often, there'd be certain things missing

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from the sales invoice.

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They'd obviously sold it and not recorded it.

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I used to point it out, and they'd just pay me the money.

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There was no argument about it.

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Despite the discrepancies in the book-keeping,

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Ron kept up the arrangement for two years.

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Then something happened that prevented him

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from making his regular visits to the shop.

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I was trimming trees in my garden, and I came down on my back.

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I broke my back and three ribs, and also damaged a kidney.

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So I was in hospital for nine weeks, and I wasn't able to go over there

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and check my stock, check what had been sold and not, and so on.

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When he came home, Ron discovered

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that Hunter's Emporium had closed down.

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He got a final sales invoice for £350,

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and arranged to collect the unsold items from the shop.

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I noticed straight away there were certain parts missing,

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and Nick said,

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"Oh, I've had some of that," you know, he said, "I like your stuff."

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And he said, "I've had some of that."

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So, he said, "I'll make sure you get your money."

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The dealer said he'd bought some of Ron's pieces for himself,

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and promised to pay what was owed.

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We kept in touch with texts.

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I asked him when I'd get my money, and one of the times he said,

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"I haven't got any money at the moment, but as soon as I have,

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"you'll be the first one to get it."

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So I trusted Nick - he was very friendly, called me mate,

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shook my hand, but eventually, something happened,

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and he stopped talking to me.

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At that point, Ron lost contact with both Nick and Helen.

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He was owed £350 in sales, and another £400 from the missing items.

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I was watching the sheriff programme on the television, and I thought,

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"I wonder if they could help me."

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I ran it past my son, and he said,

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"Oh, I don't think your case is big enough, Dad.

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"They probably wouldn't want to bother with it."

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I looked it up. It said anything over £600.

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So, I thought, well, mine's over £600 -

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not by much, but it's over £600.

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Before he could engage the sheriffs,

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Ron had to get a county court judgment.

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The shop was gone, but a friend gave him Helen Hunter's address,

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and he hand-delivered the court paperwork.

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He never got a reply,

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and after two weeks, the court granted him a default judgment.

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When that too was ignored,

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he upgraded to the High Court, and got a writ.

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Since then, Ron's done more digging, and found there's now a new shop -

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Larch Antiques.

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I've quite enjoyed doing the detective work,

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and I'm really hoping that the sheriffs

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will be able to get my money back for me.

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After going through court, the total debt now stands at £1,797.

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Ron's writ has both Mr and Mrs Hunter's names on it.

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That means they can agree to pay half each,

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or the sheriffs can collect the entire bill

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from whichever one of them they find first.

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Jess and Billy are trained to estimate a business's assets,

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but while they know the value of second-hand computers,

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office furniture and cars at auction,

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Billy's hoping for some help with appraisal today.

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I don't know much about antiques.

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I've brought the antique Jess with me today

0:17:400:17:42

to get him valued to see what he's worth.

0:17:420:17:44

Could be worth a trade-in.

0:17:440:17:46

HE LAUGHS

0:17:460:17:49

Jess might be an old classic himself...

0:17:490:17:51

-It's apparently along here.

-Slow it down a bit.

0:17:510:17:54

..but he spots the shop first.

0:17:540:17:56

Larch Antiques. Here we go.

0:17:560:17:57

It's early, and the shop's not yet open.

0:17:570:18:00

We're going to give it till nine o'clock.

0:18:000:18:01

Then we're going to make a phone call.

0:18:010:18:03

It's a commercial premises,

0:18:030:18:05

so we'll give them a certain amount of time to turn up.

0:18:050:18:09

Otherwise, we'll force entry.

0:18:090:18:10

While they wait,

0:18:100:18:11

they check out what assets are on offer through the window.

0:18:110:18:15

-Quite nice antiques.

-There's some valuable things in there.

0:18:160:18:19

There's some nice clocks in there.

0:18:190:18:21

The bureau is worth a few quid, innit?

0:18:210:18:22

-Nice little record player.

-I'd be going for the two bombs.

0:18:220:18:26

-There's bombs inside.

-What?

0:18:260:18:27

-Look.

-Bombs?

0:18:270:18:29

Two bombs. 81 millimetre mortars.

0:18:290:18:31

It's now gone 9am,

0:18:310:18:33

so Jess calls the number they've been given for the debtors.

0:18:330:18:37

Hello, is that Mr Hunter? We're at your shop at the moment.

0:18:370:18:40

We've got a High Court writ for your shop.

0:18:400:18:42

Mr Hunter says it's nothing to do with him.

0:18:420:18:45

Your name's on the writ, sir, so it IS something to do with you.

0:18:450:18:48

He insists it's not his problem, and says it's Mrs Hunter's shop.

0:18:480:18:52

He says he's got no involvement in it,

0:18:520:18:54

and it's her they need to speak to.

0:18:540:18:56

If you can get in contact for her, please,

0:18:560:18:58

because we're going to force entry into the shop in about the next ten,

0:18:580:19:01

15 minutes if she doesn't attend.

0:19:010:19:03

it might sound drastic,

0:19:030:19:05

but as Mr Hunter's said he's not paying the bill,

0:19:050:19:08

there might not be any choice.

0:19:080:19:10

Billy's sure of getting Ron's money either way.

0:19:100:19:13

If they don't want to pay,

0:19:130:19:14

if they want to be awkward, we'll force entry,

0:19:140:19:16

we'll call a truck down,

0:19:160:19:17

and we'll remove all the antiques very carefully.

0:19:170:19:19

Ten minutes after he spoke to Mr Hunter, Jess's phone rings.

0:19:210:19:25

PHONE RINGS

0:19:250:19:27

Mr Paton speaking. Is that Mrs Hunter from Larch Antiques?

0:19:270:19:31

We've got a High Court writ here for you.

0:19:310:19:33

She questions whether the debt has to be paid by her alone.

0:19:330:19:37

Both names are on the writ,

0:19:370:19:38

but we're not going to get into who's paying what.

0:19:380:19:41

We're outside your shop at the moment.

0:19:410:19:42

We need you to attend. Otherwise, if you're not here,

0:19:420:19:44

we're going to have to force entry.

0:19:440:19:46

How long will it take you to get here?

0:19:460:19:48

Jess has also discovered why Mr Hunter

0:19:480:19:50

wasn't interested in paying the debt himself.

0:19:500:19:52

The partner's not coming down. She says he's no longer her partner.

0:19:520:19:55

We've opened up a can of worms there.

0:19:550:19:57

But, you know, we've got to do what we've got to do.

0:19:570:20:00

The sheriffs wait, and 20 minutes later, a woman arrives.

0:20:000:20:03

Hello, madam. Are you Mrs Hunter?

0:20:070:20:08

-Yes.

-Yeah, I'll just explain, we're High Court Enforcement Agents.

0:20:080:20:11

Yeah, that's fine. I don't want the cameras in here, thank you.

0:20:110:20:14

Jess and Billy head into the shop,

0:20:140:20:17

and we continue filming from the road.

0:20:170:20:19

Right, so what it is, we've got a High Court writ

0:20:190:20:22

against Mrs Hunter and a Mr Hunter.

0:20:220:20:25

To the sheriffs' surprise, Mrs Hunter says she wants to pay

0:20:250:20:28

and get it over with, and she's brought the cash to do so.

0:20:280:20:32

So, it's £1,797.44.

0:20:320:20:36

But she's not got that much.

0:20:360:20:38

She says she thought the debt stood at £1,100,

0:20:380:20:41

and that's how much she's brought along.

0:20:410:20:44

What's happening is, because we've attended today,

0:20:440:20:46

the fees have now been put on top of it.

0:20:460:20:48

So you've received an NOE which would have been the lesser amount,

0:20:480:20:51

but because you didn't pay it within the seven days,

0:20:510:20:53

and we've now come out, it's now gone up.

0:20:530:20:55

She says she doesn't have any more cash,

0:20:550:20:57

and they'll have to take goods.

0:20:570:20:59

But the sheriffs don't think that's in her best interests.

0:20:590:21:02

OK, it does go up if we need to remove.

0:21:030:21:05

If we start removing it's going to go to stage three, then,

0:21:050:21:08

-which will be...

-2,427 plus any removals.

0:21:080:21:12

She says she has some more money in her bank.

0:21:120:21:15

She takes them into the back office,

0:21:150:21:16

where she also hands over the cash she's come in with.

0:21:160:21:19

-What did you say was here? 1,100, yeah?

-Do you want me to count that?

0:21:190:21:22

You check that, yeah. So, we'll give you a cash receipt for the cash.

0:21:220:21:25

There'd be 697.44, is what we'd need.

0:21:250:21:29

Billy suggests a bank transfer for the remainder,

0:21:290:21:32

but Mrs Hunter doesn't have the card reader necessary

0:21:320:21:34

to use her internet banking.

0:21:340:21:36

But she does find another £100 in cash in the office.

0:21:370:21:41

That's 1,200 in cash.

0:21:410:21:43

Jess comes outside to fill us in.

0:21:430:21:46

She's paid the 1,200 cash now.

0:21:460:21:48

Billy's just sorting the last payment out with her now,

0:21:480:21:51

and that should be us here done.

0:21:510:21:52

But inside the shop, Mrs Hunter's attempts to pay

0:21:520:21:55

the remaining £597.44 through the sheriffs' web system

0:21:550:22:00

have been declined.

0:22:000:22:01

They won't leave with it still outstanding,

0:22:030:22:05

so she says she'll have to go and get more cash.

0:22:050:22:09

Obviously we're not going to leave now

0:22:090:22:10

because she hasn't paid the debt in full, so we'll stay in the shop.

0:22:100:22:13

Inside, Billy isn't wasting time.

0:22:130:22:16

Although they're sure of getting paid,

0:22:160:22:18

he still wants to check out the rest of the assets.

0:22:180:22:21

I think he's found his niche.

0:22:210:22:22

He's walking around looking at all the prices of everything.

0:22:220:22:25

He's seeing stuff in there he's never seen in his life, I think.

0:22:250:22:27

He's only a baby, isn't he?

0:22:270:22:29

I'd better put that down.

0:22:300:22:32

15 minutes after she left,

0:22:320:22:34

Jess spots Mrs Hunter making her way back to the shop.

0:22:340:22:38

She's just come back from the bank now,

0:22:380:22:40

so I'm going to pop back over to the shop and get this paid up.

0:22:400:22:43

We can get out of here then and leave her in peace.

0:22:430:22:46

-Right, OK, 97.50. Right?

-97.50, yeah.

0:22:460:22:50

-OK.

-Right, I'll give you a receipt.

0:22:500:22:52

All right. All right, take care, Mrs Hunter.

0:22:520:22:55

The writ might have had both her and her ex-partner's name on it,

0:22:550:22:59

but Mrs Hunter has paid the debt herself in full.

0:22:590:23:02

She's had to face the music, but, you know, at the end of the day,

0:23:030:23:08

we've come here to get the money for the claimant.

0:23:080:23:10

It's not about them - it's about the claimant,

0:23:100:23:12

getting the money for the claimant.

0:23:120:23:13

So, you know, we've done our job, and we're going to move on now.

0:23:130:23:16

Whether Helen Hunter tries to get Nick Hunter to pay his share

0:23:160:23:19

of the debt is up to her,

0:23:190:23:21

but Ron Garrett has now finally got the money he's owed.

0:23:210:23:25

-RON:

-I think justice has been done. I'm sure Karen would be proud of me.

0:23:250:23:29

If you're owed money, chase them.

0:23:290:23:31

Use the system. It's not hard.

0:23:320:23:34

You can do it, most of it online,

0:23:340:23:37

and, OK, it costs you a few quid, but if you're successful,

0:23:370:23:41

you get your money back. So go for it.

0:23:410:23:44

Mrs Hunter told us the debt belongs solely to her ex-partner,

0:23:470:23:50

and that he had left her in a difficult situation financially.

0:23:500:23:54

She said Mr Hunter had no involvement in her current business,

0:23:550:23:59

Larch Antiques.

0:23:590:24:00

This afternoon, enforcement agents Rob Foster and Gerald Anderson

0:24:120:24:16

are on their way to another commercial premises,

0:24:160:24:18

where they're expecting to find valuable items on display.

0:24:180:24:22

Going to a jewellers' today. Connaught Jewellers.

0:24:230:24:26

Looking at a debt just under £3,000.

0:24:260:24:29

The sheriffs' claimant gave Connaught Jewellers

0:24:290:24:33

a Rolex to sell on his behalf.

0:24:330:24:35

They did so, but he was never paid the money from the sale.

0:24:350:24:39

The jewellers gave the claimant three cheques for payment,

0:24:390:24:44

but all three cheques bounced.

0:24:440:24:46

It's not a mistake the sheriffs are going to repeat.

0:24:460:24:49

As a general rule, we don't accept cheques.

0:24:490:24:51

They're too easy to bounce,

0:24:510:24:53

and they end up creating more problems, costing more money,

0:24:530:24:55

requiring further attendances, etc.

0:24:550:24:57

So, no - cheques are generally out of the question.

0:24:570:25:02

After the bounced cheques, the customer took the shop to court.

0:25:020:25:05

The shop didn't defend the case, and now they owe £2,827.

0:25:050:25:11

-Connaught Jewellers - there on the left-hand side.

-There it is, there.

0:25:130:25:16

Looks quite...quite decent.

0:25:160:25:17

Looks all right. It's a jewellers'.

0:25:190:25:21

The lights are on, and there is stock in the window.

0:25:210:25:24

They're expecting an upmarket jewellers'

0:25:250:25:27

to have no trouble coming up with just under £3,000.

0:25:270:25:30

They park around the corner, but when they get back to the shop,

0:25:310:25:35

it's locked up.

0:25:350:25:36

Door's locked.

0:25:420:25:43

-No-one there yet?

-Hmm.

0:25:460:25:48

I don't think he's gone for lunch.

0:25:570:25:58

There's a coat on the back of the chair out there.

0:25:580:26:00

Yeah. He could well be in there.

0:26:000:26:01

I can't tell if the door's locked because he's gone for lunch,

0:26:010:26:04

or if the door's locked cos he's in the back.

0:26:040:26:07

There's a mobile number on the file, so I'm ringing it now.

0:26:070:26:09

The sheriffs have the power to force entry to a commercial property

0:26:090:26:13

like this one, but they'd rather make contact with the debtor first.

0:26:130:26:18

There's no answer, no voicemail or anything on his mobile.

0:26:180:26:20

Well, the worst comes to the worst, it's going to be a locksmith.

0:26:200:26:23

-Yeah.

-He ain't going to come here while we're stood here, is he?

0:26:230:26:26

They're concerned that if the jeweller is out to lunch,

0:26:260:26:29

then he might spot them waiting outside the shop,

0:26:290:26:31

and decide not to return,

0:26:310:26:32

so Rob and Gerald make a tactical retreat.

0:26:320:26:35

We're going to withdraw up to a little peepy-hole place up there,

0:26:350:26:39

and just observe the door for the next 20, 30 minutes,

0:26:390:26:42

see if he does come back.

0:26:420:26:44

They find a good hiding spot.

0:26:440:26:45

I can see the shop from here. They obviously can't see me.

0:26:470:26:50

I'm just going to wait here to see if anybody goes in or out.

0:26:500:26:53

While Gerald takes care of surveillance,

0:26:550:26:57

Rob's been reading the file.

0:26:570:26:59

Connaught Jewellers Ltd is dissolved.

0:27:000:27:02

It looks like there was once a limited company

0:27:020:27:05

trading here with a similar name,

0:27:050:27:07

but the sheriffs don't know what the current arrangement is.

0:27:070:27:10

From what they've seen,

0:27:100:27:11

they're convinced the shop is still in business,

0:27:110:27:14

so they step up their efforts to make contact.

0:27:140:27:17

"Sorry, the number you have dialled is not in service."

0:27:170:27:20

Hmm!

0:27:200:27:22

I've tried the two landline numbers. One is no longer in use.

0:27:220:27:26

One just continues to ring, and then rings out.

0:27:260:27:30

While they're trying to work out what to do, Gerald's phone rings.

0:27:310:27:35

PHONE RINGS

0:27:350:27:37

Hello.

0:27:370:27:39

Can you hear me?

0:27:390:27:41

But it's a private number, and whoever's on the other end of it

0:27:410:27:45

isn't saying anything. Moments later, Rob gets the same call.

0:27:450:27:48

PHONE RINGS

0:27:480:27:49

Private number. Hello.

0:27:490:27:51

Hello?

0:27:540:27:55

They think it's the jeweller trying to find out

0:27:560:27:59

who's been calling him for the last half hour,

0:27:590:28:02

so they head back to the shop.

0:28:020:28:05

I don't like coincidences,

0:28:050:28:06

and you ringing the number and getting a private number back,

0:28:060:28:08

and then me ringing it and getting a private number back -

0:28:080:28:11

-it's definitely them responding.

-100%.

0:28:110:28:14

It's still locked up...

0:28:140:28:15

-That door's closed.

-..but something's different.

0:28:170:28:20

-That was open.

-It was open, yeah.

0:28:200:28:21

Because I could see a chair in there.

0:28:210:28:23

KNOCK AT DOOR

0:28:230:28:26

Got me all excited now.

0:28:260:28:27

-He is in there, isn't he?

-He knows we're here.

0:28:290:28:31

After making themselves heard...

0:28:350:28:36

KICKS DOOR

0:28:360:28:38

..there's finally a sign of life from inside.

0:28:380:28:41

-Now we've got movement inside.

-He's there. Perfect.

0:28:420:28:45

Hello, sir!

0:28:460:28:47

Hello, sir. Are you all right?

0:28:510:28:52

Rob gets straight to the point.

0:28:520:28:54

Right, calling with regards to a live writ today.

0:28:540:28:58

You sold a Rolex.

0:28:580:28:59

-Yeah. But we already...

-Yep?

0:28:590:29:03

..sent a letter to the court, and all the papers that they sent,

0:29:030:29:10

they sent to 7A, and 7A is the flat above.

0:29:100:29:13

-Right, OK.

-And we haven't heard from them.

0:29:130:29:16

Was it just a letter explaining the circumstances?

0:29:160:29:18

Explaining the circumstances.

0:29:180:29:19

It's not complying with the court's rules.

0:29:190:29:21

You don't just write to the court, though. You seek legal advice,

0:29:210:29:24

you go and see a solicitor, and You file the correct forms.

0:29:240:29:26

That hasn't been done, so we're here a live writ today to enforce

0:29:260:29:30

for payment in full or removal of goods.

0:29:300:29:32

Rob's not impressed.

0:29:320:29:33

The man says he's aware of the case, but all he seems to have done

0:29:330:29:37

is write a letter to the court complaining about it.

0:29:370:29:40

He hasn't applied for a stay on the writ,

0:29:400:29:43

or for the judgment to be set aside.

0:29:430:29:45

Very simply, are you going to pay it?

0:29:450:29:47

I haven't got any money to pay.

0:29:470:29:50

-Right.

-My daughter pays them.

0:29:500:29:51

Where's the money for the watch that was sold, then?

0:29:510:29:53

It's... It belongs to Connaught Jewellers Ltd.

0:29:530:29:58

-Right.

-We haven't received any papers from you.

0:29:580:30:01

So you're saying everything belongs to Connaught Jewellers Ltd?

0:30:010:30:04

-Yes.

-Which is a dissolved company - it's gone, it doesn't exist.

0:30:040:30:07

It's gone, but we are still running the company.

0:30:070:30:10

-Let me just tell you one thing.

-Instead of limited...

-Yep.

0:30:100:30:12

..it's Connaught Jewellers.

0:30:120:30:14

-Yes.

-And that is the name on the writ.

0:30:140:30:17

That's exactly what I needed to hear!

0:30:170:30:19

But now the man says the shop doesn't belong to him.

0:30:200:30:23

He's the manager, but the lease is in his daughter's name,

0:30:230:30:27

and it's her business.

0:30:270:30:29

None of that makes any difference to the sheriffs.

0:30:290:30:31

Can I ring my daughter, and she explains to you?

0:30:310:30:34

I don't want anything explained to me.

0:30:340:30:36

-It belongs to her.

-I don't want anything explained to me.

0:30:360:30:39

I want it paid, or I'll take goods.

0:30:390:30:41

-That's it. That's all I'm after, is the payment.

-How can we pay you?

0:30:410:30:44

I take card, I take cash, many different ways.

0:30:440:30:47

-Can we give you a cheque?

-No. We don't take cheques.

0:30:470:30:49

We don't take cheques. You bounced three of them on the last guy.

0:30:490:30:54

Gerald, meanwhile, is exploring the back office.

0:30:540:30:57

Sorry, why are you... This is only a workshop.

0:30:570:31:00

I'm just looking through paperwork to see exactly what's what.

0:31:000:31:05

I have the right under the writ to investigate.

0:31:050:31:09

Ideally, he wants a document

0:31:090:31:11

proving some of the jewellery belongs to Connaught Jewellers,

0:31:110:31:14

but there's not much of interest.

0:31:140:31:16

He tries a different tack.

0:31:160:31:18

Let's go back a couple of months.

0:31:180:31:20

I give you this and say, "Can you sell that for me?"

0:31:200:31:24

-You sell that to this gentleman here for £2,000.

-Yes.

0:31:240:31:28

-Correct.

-Where's that £2,000 that he gave you?

0:31:280:31:32

It's my regular customer.

0:31:320:31:34

Oh, right.

0:31:340:31:36

And every time he buys something, he pays...

0:31:360:31:38

-He'll pay you next year, maybe.

-No, not next year.

0:31:380:31:40

-No, no, no, no.

-Who's got the £2,000?

0:31:400:31:43

-I have got the £2,000.

-Right, whose £2,000 is it?

0:31:430:31:45

But I didn't get...

0:31:450:31:47

-Whose 2,000...

-It's yours, but...

0:31:470:31:48

-But...

-Right, so why don't you pay me?

-But it was only...

0:31:480:31:51

..only six weeks when he started moaning.

0:31:510:31:54

Whatever the arrangement was,

0:31:550:31:57

the Rolex's owner has had neither his watch nor his money

0:31:570:32:01

for months now.

0:32:010:32:03

Later, can Rob and Gerald convince the jeweller

0:32:030:32:06

to pay his customer back?

0:32:060:32:07

I wasn't kidding you when I said that I'd be looking at taking

0:32:070:32:11

£20,000 worth of kit, which is basically clearing the shop out.

0:32:110:32:13

If you've won a county court judgment and haven't been paid,

0:32:180:32:21

for £66, you can get the case transferred up to the High Court,

0:32:210:32:25

which will issue a writ for enforcement by the sheriffs.

0:32:250:32:29

I'm an enforcement agent enforcing a High Court writ.

0:32:310:32:33

I'm here just to execute the court order.

0:32:330:32:35

They've got more powers than county court bailiffs...

0:32:350:32:38

We're going to remove cars.

0:32:380:32:39

If you obstruct myself or my colleague, it is a criminal offence.

0:32:390:32:44

..and there's no limit to the size of the debts they can pursue.

0:32:440:32:48

£14 million. It's the largest job I've ever done.

0:32:480:32:51

You can pay directly into our account from Spain.

0:32:510:32:54

If they're successful, they will recover your money and costs

0:32:540:32:56

-from the debtor...

-Thanks.

-Thank you.

0:32:560:32:59

..as well as their own fees that are set by the Government.

0:32:590:33:03

It was that amount there until 5:30.

0:33:030:33:06

I don't stand here for three hours for nothing.

0:33:060:33:09

If the sheriffs can't get your money,

0:33:090:33:11

they'll ask you to pay a fee of £75 plus VAT.

0:33:110:33:15

Earlier, Tommy and Mike visited Dr Berglin,

0:33:190:33:21

looking for more than £13,000

0:33:210:33:24

that he and his wife owe to their former landlord.

0:33:240:33:28

This is paying all day long, this is.

0:33:280:33:30

He said he couldn't pay, but the sheriffs found

0:33:300:33:33

a potentially valuable asset on his driveway.

0:33:330:33:36

That's a nice motor.

0:33:360:33:38

I'm thinking this will be the one that's going to go.

0:33:380:33:40

They decided it was too difficult to remove it in the dark that evening.

0:33:400:33:44

And now, two days later,

0:33:450:33:47

they're returning to collect the clamped car.

0:33:470:33:50

The defendant's been back in contact.

0:33:500:33:52

He's very cooperative. He says he's now got a key.

0:33:520:33:55

I think he's resigned to the fact

0:33:550:33:57

that he's not going to be able to pay it,

0:33:570:33:59

and the vehicle's going to go.

0:33:590:34:00

They arrive at the Berglins' property, and as Tommy heads inside,

0:34:000:34:04

Mike checks in with their recovery man.

0:34:040:34:07

How long will you be, roughly?

0:34:070:34:09

Dr Berglin has found the keys,

0:34:090:34:11

which should increase the vehicle's value at auction.

0:34:110:34:14

He's also going to start it, so the sheriffs' removal man

0:34:140:34:17

doesn't cause any damage trying to lift it off the gravel.

0:34:170:34:22

-ENGINE STARTS

-Oh, my. Woohoo!

0:34:220:34:25

Whoo! That sounds gorgeous, doesn't it?

0:34:250:34:28

-It does sound racy, doesn't it?

-ENGINE REVS

0:34:300:34:34

Tommy and Mike inspect the vehicle,

0:34:340:34:36

but they can hardly hear themselves over the noise of the engine.

0:34:360:34:40

Mike seizes the cover, and as the car is now unlocked,

0:34:400:34:44

he checks the glove box for documents,

0:34:440:34:46

which also gives him a chance to try out the seats.

0:34:460:34:49

Oh, it is quite spacious inside, isn't it?

0:34:490:34:52

When Dr Berglin says he'll drive it onto the road for them,

0:34:520:34:55

Tommy can't resist doing the same.

0:34:550:34:58

Believe it or not, I have had it before,

0:34:580:34:59

-and then people have drove off. So...

-No, he won't drive off.

0:34:590:35:03

I can understand why...

0:35:030:35:04

-ENGINE REVS

-Oh, my lord!

0:35:040:35:06

I can understand why Tommy's doing it.

0:35:060:35:08

Cos he's obviously got to make sure the asset's still secure.

0:35:100:35:13

But I think it was more that he just wanted to sit in it,

0:35:130:35:15

and say he'd been in it.

0:35:150:35:18

His 100-foot joyride complete,

0:35:180:35:20

Tommy discovers why the car's been sat on the driveway for so long.

0:35:200:35:25

It's not built for me, I don't think.

0:35:250:35:27

Is that fluid coming out?

0:35:270:35:29

-Yeah.

-He'd let customers go out in it on track days.

0:35:290:35:33

Obviously the vehicle sits very low-profile on the track,

0:35:330:35:35

and there's something in the vehicle

0:35:350:35:38

that raises it for when you come off the track.

0:35:380:35:40

The customer didn't raise it, hit a speed bump, which caused the damage.

0:35:400:35:44

We could see the fluids coming out the front.

0:35:440:35:46

The sheriffs are hoping it's just a leaky hose,

0:35:460:35:49

and the damage isn't severe enough

0:35:490:35:51

to put off potential bidders at auction.

0:35:510:35:53

Problem or not, Tommy's still impressed.

0:35:530:35:56

It's a lovely car. It's like a muscle car, isn't it?

0:35:560:35:59

See, if I was a car, that would be me.

0:35:590:36:02

-You'd be a Nissan Micra.

-LAUGHTER

0:36:020:36:04

Right on time, the recovery truck arrives.

0:36:060:36:09

Is it not starting?

0:36:090:36:12

Dr Berglin jump-started the car ten minutes ago...

0:36:120:36:14

..but the recovery man can't.

0:36:160:36:18

Might have to get his heavy-duty one out.

0:36:180:36:20

So the debtor and his extra-large battery are needed again.

0:36:200:36:24

Hopefully, this is going to work now.

0:36:240:36:26

-It'll be a lot simpler to get it on board.

-ENGINE STARTS

0:36:260:36:30

There you go. Straight away.

0:36:300:36:32

-Amazing, straight away.

-And that's not all.

0:36:320:36:35

He's also got a bottle of fluid that he hands over to Tommy.

0:36:350:36:38

Then you top it up with some of that?

0:36:380:36:40

Yeah, you're fine my side, mate.

0:36:430:36:46

Yeah.

0:36:460:36:48

The Mercedes is driven onto the low loader, secured,

0:36:480:36:51

and that's the job done.

0:36:510:36:53

That's a beautiful car, isn't it?

0:36:530:36:56

Tommy hands over the seizure paperwork, and the car heads off.

0:36:560:36:59

It will be taken to secure storage,

0:37:010:37:04

and after a minimum of 14 days in which Dr Berglin

0:37:040:37:07

will have a chance to register any objections,

0:37:070:37:10

it will be sold at public auction.

0:37:100:37:12

That asset's worth a substantial amount of money.

0:37:130:37:16

Obviously he'll be getting some money back, also clearing his debt.

0:37:160:37:19

The claimant will also be getting their money back.

0:37:190:37:21

A good result all round.

0:37:210:37:23

And as you can see, we will come out, we'll enforce,

0:37:230:37:26

we'll get these goods removed, and we will recover our clients' debts.

0:37:260:37:30

A few weeks later, the car was sold at auction,

0:37:300:37:33

but it only made £11,300,

0:37:330:37:36

which wasn't enough to clear the entire debt.

0:37:360:37:39

That means, as far as the sheriffs are concerned,

0:37:390:37:41

the case is not yet closed.

0:37:410:37:43

Rob and Gerald are still in a jewellers' in West London,

0:37:530:37:56

trying to get more than £2,000

0:37:560:37:58

for a customer who wasn't paid when the shop sold a Rolex on his behalf.

0:37:580:38:03

-Who's got the £2,000?

-I have got the £2,000.

0:38:030:38:06

-Right. Whose £2,000 is it?

-But I didn't get...

0:38:060:38:09

-Whose 2,000...

-It's yours.

0:38:090:38:11

So far, it's been a frustrating experience for the sheriffs.

0:38:110:38:15

The jeweller has admitted he owes the money,

0:38:150:38:17

but doesn't seem keen to pay up.

0:38:170:38:19

If they can't leave with the claimant's cash,

0:38:190:38:22

the sheriffs might have to sell the shop's goods instead.

0:38:220:38:26

-Time's up.

-Where's the keys for all these drawers, now?

0:38:260:38:28

-Cos I want to empty them.

-Excuse me...

0:38:280:38:30

-I'm taking everything.

-Everything?!

-Everything.

0:38:300:38:34

The jeweller says that like the Rolex,

0:38:340:38:36

almost everything here is sale or return,

0:38:360:38:38

and belongs to his customers, not the shop.

0:38:380:38:42

So he offers them something he does own.

0:38:420:38:44

I've got one thing - that carriage clock.

0:38:460:38:49

That alone is £2,000.

0:38:490:38:52

But it's not that simple.

0:38:520:38:54

The clock won't fetch that much at auction,

0:38:540:38:56

and Gerald explains that if he has to remove it, the bill will go up.

0:38:560:39:00

-How much are we looking at at sale, Rob?

-It'll go up to £4,100.

0:39:000:39:05

If you pay it now, it's £2,800. That's it.

0:39:050:39:07

But at auction, I'd be looking at around £16,000-£20,000 worth

0:39:070:39:12

of goods to cover the debt.

0:39:120:39:14

The carriage clock alone isn't worth anything like enough money

0:39:140:39:18

to clear the debt, so the sheriffs' attention turns elsewhere.

0:39:180:39:22

What else in here? These are owned by Connaught Jewellers?

0:39:220:39:25

-Those, yes, yes.

-And how much do you reckon these are worth?

0:39:250:39:28

Well, I sell them for £200 each.

0:39:280:39:31

There are some high-value items in the cabinets,

0:39:310:39:33

and the jeweller doesn't want to lose them.

0:39:330:39:36

He now says he can get his daughter to pay the debt.

0:39:360:39:40

If you give us 24 hours, we will pay you.

0:39:400:39:44

It's not the end of the world, for God's sake.

0:39:440:39:47

I'm not asking you to wait for days and days.

0:39:470:39:50

But it has been three weeks since the notice of enforcement

0:39:500:39:54

was sent out, and months since the Rolex was sold.

0:39:540:39:57

If the man's daughter is going to pay,

0:39:570:39:59

Gerald doesn't want it put off any longer.

0:39:590:40:03

I can send a link to your daughter for her to just put down,

0:40:030:40:05

-and it's done.

-Let me tell you one thing.

0:40:050:40:08

-She cannot leave the office.

-She doesn't have to leave the office.

0:40:080:40:11

Sir, all I'd have to do for your daughter -

0:40:110:40:14

she can stay sat at her desk, behind wherever she is -

0:40:140:40:17

I send her a text on her phone.

0:40:170:40:20

-Yeah?

-And on the text on her phone, It'll say,

0:40:200:40:22

"Put your card detail in here." She can do it on the phone.

0:40:220:40:26

Text, done, finished.

0:40:260:40:28

But even that isn't going to work.

0:40:280:40:30

The man says his daughter is too busy,

0:40:300:40:32

and can't pay the sheriffs now.

0:40:320:40:34

I cannot believe that you cannot get hold of your daughter.

0:40:360:40:38

She is the supervisor.

0:40:380:40:41

She doesn't even talk to me.

0:40:410:40:44

Can you assure me, in 24 hours, that debt will be paid?

0:40:440:40:46

-Yes.

-Yeah?

-Yes.

-I don't believe a word.

0:40:460:40:51

Please! I don't have to lie to you!

0:40:510:40:53

I'm 73 years old!

0:40:530:40:56

It's been two hours since they first knocked on the door,

0:40:560:40:59

and Gerald has finally extracted a promise of payment

0:40:590:41:03

from the jeweller.

0:41:030:41:04

Rob thinks that's as good as they'll get today,

0:41:040:41:07

and decides to give the jeweller the time he says he needs.

0:41:070:41:11

So we can do a controlled goods agreement.

0:41:110:41:13

You sign it, I sign it, and we give you 24 hours to settle it in full.

0:41:130:41:17

Gerald lets the man know it doesn't mean he's off the hook.

0:41:170:41:21

If it's not paid by that time, we then end up coming back.

0:41:210:41:24

Whether you're here or not,

0:41:240:41:27

we'd get a locksmith, and open the place up,

0:41:270:41:29

and I wasn't kidding you when I said that I'd be looking at taking

0:41:290:41:34

£20,000 worth of kit, which would basically clear the shop out.

0:41:340:41:38

Rob and Gerald go through the assets,

0:41:380:41:40

and list everything the man agrees belongs to the shop.

0:41:400:41:44

-All these watches, Connaught Jewellers', yes?

-The watches, yes.

0:41:440:41:47

-Swiss.

-Swiss? So that's the manufacturer, Swiss?

0:41:470:41:51

-The manufacturer is Swiss.

-One, two, three, four, five, six, seven.

0:41:510:41:55

Seven wrist bracelets.

0:41:550:41:56

The sheriffs are never happy to leave a job without getting paid,

0:41:560:42:00

but they've done all they can today.

0:42:000:42:02

Rob gives the man the control of goods agreement to sign...

0:42:020:42:06

Right there. Perfect. Yeah.

0:42:060:42:08

..and with that, the shop's stock technically belongs to the court

0:42:080:42:12

until the debt is paid.

0:42:120:42:14

When you've paid, give Mr Foster a phone call,

0:42:140:42:16

otherwise I'll be back here Monday to empty the place out.

0:42:160:42:18

-OK.

-Ta-ra now.

-Bye.

-Ta-ra.

-Cheerio.

0:42:180:42:21

It's not been the easiest day's work,

0:42:210:42:23

and they haven't yet recovered any money for their client.

0:42:230:42:28

I'm not convinced he's going to pay it as he's said he'll pay it.

0:42:280:42:32

I have told him that I will eat my hat

0:42:320:42:35

if it's paid by nine o'clock, Monday.

0:42:350:42:38

A total of £2,473 was paid the same day by Connaught Jewellers,

0:42:380:42:44

and cleared in the sheriffs' account later that evening.

0:42:440:42:48

The remaining balance was paid three days later.

0:42:480:42:51

So, in the end, the owners stuck to their word, and so did Gerald.

0:42:510:42:56

Connaught Jewellers told us the payment was transferred

0:42:590:43:02

before the sheriffs' visit.

0:43:020:43:03

They also said the original court claim

0:43:030:43:06

was mistakenly sent to the wrong address.

0:43:060:43:09

A man who decided to sell his precious collection of antiques ended up out of pocket. Jess and Billy are determined to get the money he is owed.

A dispute over rent payments leads to Tommy and Mike planning to remove a very special Mercedes sports car - but that turns out to be a far from straightforward operation.

Rob and Gerald visit a west London jeweller's after a customer gave them a Rolex watch to sell on his behalf - but never got the money he was due.