Amanda Brochu said contractors bulldozed and removed her driveway (not pictured).
Florida mother Amanda Brochu said her driveway was stolen earlier this month. Brochu’s real estate agent told BI she believed Brochu was a victim of a scam.Brochu set up a GoFundMe page that raised more than $13,000.
A Florida woman attempting to sell her home said her driveway was stolen in broad daylight.
Amanda Brochu first shared her story in a now-disabled GoFundMe campaign created on Thursday.
According to Brochu, the incident occurred in December when her family listed their current Orlando-area house for sale with hopes of moving into their “forever home.”
In an interview with local station WSVN, Brochu said the trouble began when unsolicited contractors arrived to measure her driveway. Brochu told the outlet that she confronted one of the contractors, who claimed a man named Andre hired them to determine the price for a replacement driveway.
Screenshot from GoFundMe.
The outlet reported that the contractor showed Brochu text messages from Andre that contained his initial request and her home address.
But Andre was out of town when the contractor asked to meet in person and cut off communication when asked for proof of ownership, WSVN reported.
Brochu told WSVN she called local authorities.
“After the cops spoke to them, they called me back, and they said that he said it was a mistake, he just got the address wrong; nothing else will happen again,” she said.
But one week later, Brochu got a notification from her Ring doorbell camera that showed a bulldozer tearing up her driveway and taking it away.
“While I was preparing to head out of town for my birthday and Christmas with my kids, I received a ring doorbell notification that someone was outside of my house, ripping up my driveway before my eyes,” Brochu wrote on GoFundMe.
Brochu added that when police officers arrived at her home, “the company that was tearing up my driveway had already completed the job and left my driveway with only dirt.”
Photo shows dump truck with gravel and tar.
Catherine McQueen/Getty Images
The sight left Brochu and her current real estate agent, Rocki Sanchez, in disbelief.
“Utter shock. I’ve never seen this before. I’ve never had this happen to myself or anyone in our office,” Sanchez told WSVN.
Sanchez told the outlet she shared details about the situation in a Facebook group for realtors, who said they’d seen similar things before. She believes Brochu is a victim of a scam.
“I had multiple people come forward saying that they’ve seen things like this happen — whether it be driveways, roofs, painting, even outside the exterior,” Sanchez told the outlet. “So it happens more often than we actually see it.”
Sanchez told Business Insider in an email on Sunday that she hopes Brochu’s is a cautionary tale to homeowners and contractors.
“We’ve received unwavering support from the community, friends, family, and people from across the world,” she told BI. “I’ve received calls from other contractors and fellow agents stating that something like this is more common than we expect. The target isn’t just homeowners, but contractors as well, who take on the business not fully doing their due diligence and being taken advantage of in the end by the scammer.”
She added: “I hope this story helps other homeowners and contractors to be more alert and mindful when confirming ownership before taking on a job.”
Brochu told WSVN that her missing driveway is more than just a cosmetic problem.
She recently replaced the home’s roof and made a separate investment, so she didn’t have the $10,000 needed to replace the concrete.
“No one’s gonna buy this. This brings down the property now, and that just messes it up for me and my family,” she told the outlet.
Fortunately, Brochu has received a helping hand.
WFTV reported that a Cox Media Group radio sponsor learned about her story and offered to install a new driveway at no cost to her. Brochu told WFTV that she plans to donate the $13,543 she raised on GoFundMe to a local nonprofit in coordination with 9 Family Connection.
Brochu did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment made outside of regular business hours.