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Imagine you get home after a long day at work, park your car, get out, and realize your standing on dirt–where you once had a paved driveway! This is exactly what happened to Amanda Brochu, a Florida woman whose driveway was stolen in December 2023. What the jackhammer happened here?

Well, there’s no real value to dry concrete. So no one did all the work of tearing up the driveway to sell the materials. They were after something else entirely: Brochu appears to have been collateral damage in a scam targeting contractors.

Here’s the scoop: Brochu owns a house in the suburbs of Orlando. But she had lined up a better place, and was actually under contract to purchase the new home. But before the deal went through, she decided to do some improvements to her old house to maximize its resale value.

Mailbox and dirt hole where Florida woman's driveway was before being stolen.
Stolen driveway | WFTV9 News via YouTube

First, Brochu had someone replace the roof. Then she had some other touchups done. One day her son saw five separate contractors come by to measure her driveway. The only problem was that she hadn’t asked anyone for any driveway work. So Brochu cornered one of the men to see what was going on. And then things got really weird.

The contractor revealed he’d been contacted by a man named Andre. Andre claimed he was the landlord of the house (that Brochu owned). And asked for a quote to redo the driveway. The contractor showed Brochu that he had quoted $7,200 and Andre had apologized for being unable to pay the deposit personally, but promised to mail it.

So Brochu and the contractor came up with a plan. They texted Andre back to demand full payment–and proof of ownership of the house. He cut contact.

When Brochu and the contractor took all their information to the Sheriff’s department, the police called Andre. Andre apologized, saying he had gotten the address wrong. Brochu may have felt silly for being so cautious, but it seemed her problems were behind her.

Then the driveway disappeared.

The WFTV 9 news team interviewed Brochu. Its experts believe that Andre was scamming contractors. His tactic was probably to mail too large a payment check. After apologizing for his mistake, he could demand the contractor send him the difference before starting work. His goal would be to pocket the difference before his original check bounced. It’s a relatively common scam that inexperienced contractors can fall victim to.

Florida woman interviewed after her driveway was stolen.
Interview | WFTV9 News via YouTube

So why did he pick Brochu’s house? Andre may have noticed the roof going on, and assumed the house was vacant while being renovated. If he had been correct, he might have had the perfect scam: a working job site that would not raise red flags for contractors, no residents to grow suspicious, and no recourse the robbed contractor could take.

It looks like some eager contractor began the work before Andre’s check cleared, demolishing the driveway while Brochu was away. Brochu and the police don’t know who the contractor is or what they did after the check finally bounced.

Sheriff deputies are following up, but Andre is still denying any involvement. In the meantime, Brochu is under contract to buy a new house and is trying to sell her old house with a gaping hole in the lawn. At first, she tried to set up a GoFundMe to get the driveway repaved. But then, a local business that advertises with WFTV9 heard her story and volunteered to foot the bill. Way to stick together, Florida!

Next, read the strange true story of a daring champagne convoy heist in France, or see the WFTV9 coverage of the driveway theft in the video below: