On Episode 108 of The DYOJO Podcast, we are talking about crime and construction. Our main story centers around a burning truck, a missing contractor, and millions of dollars for housing developments being unaccounted for.
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Prior - Related
This isn’t the first time we’ve covered the intersection of construction and criminal activities on TDP. You may remember we did a four part series on RJC vs AISD - here’s a brief recap (video with Michelle Blevins from C&R Magazine / Restoration Today Podcast)
RJC vs AISD Episodes
Ep 98 - Part 4 - https://youtu.be/uJ_Z5nOOtNg?si=646hdBVa8iEDOPsB
Ep 96- Part 3 - https://youtu.be/pZlJa5jz64s?si=qv-11QchnrnMmZZX
Ep 93 - Part 2 - https://youtu.be/J8I-z9kSr8o?si=R9eCofvPIv-0kZkv
Ep 92 - Part 1 - https://youtu.be/yjsJYljF9_0?si=bIsLLVUQnn7hNXfw
New video https://youtu.be/0FyTqR6POQk?si=CahmeXjNh-eTAz2o
Unfinished houses, open roofs: RJ Construction customers take their claims to bankruptcy court - https://www.keranews.org/business-economy/2022-09-12/unfinished-houses-open-roofs-rj-construction-customers-take-their-claims-to-bankruptcy-court
You know what the true crime is? Not checking out our sponsors…
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Today's construction crime, developer Bret Detamore allegedly faked his disappearance for nearly a week and burned his bright yellow Dodge TRX as a potential cover-up for stealing hundreds of thousands, if not millions, from clients near Houston, Texas.
We discuss the timeline and details of this story that started with his wife reporting him missing on Wednesday, June 21, 2023 and the fallout from the many unanswered questions related to this unique event.
His business seemed to be thriving, according to those who know him. In his Instagram account in February, he showed what he termed “the 1st of 14 homes to be completed in 2023,” and he was driving a model of a Dodge Ram truck which sells with a low-end price tag of $84,555.
Wed June 21, 2023
8:46am Wife reports 38 year old Contractor Brett Detamore missing to West University Place PD; a suburb near Houston, TX
100pm call from Houston PD to West U PD
That same day Brett’s truck is found burning (pic) bright yellow dodge ram TRX in Bear Creek Park.
According to WPD Chief Ken Walker, "The vehicle was severely burned. Most of the recognizing or identifying information had been destroyed. One of the HPD officers knew that they could find a secret VIN number. He found that number, ran it and it came back as a missing person’s vehicle. We were then notified where the vehicle was."
The Houston Fire Department is investigating the arson case for Detamore's burnt truck and will determine if any charges will be filed. So far, HFD says no one has been ruled out as a suspect.
Last week, the Harris County Precinct 1 and Precinct 5 Constables’ Offices and Texas Equusearch helped to conduct a search at the park last week but did not find Detamore.
No shared evidence or discovery other than a male witness who claims to have observed a male walk away from the burning truck the morning of 6/21/23
Cameras from 6/21/23 at 4:21am (confirm) WPD cameras pick up Brett driving his truck, he is not following anyone or being followed
Monday, June 26, 2023 Police still looking
According to Fox 26 Houston - On Monday night, authorities say his wife received an e-mail from Detamore.
"We had to verify it wasn’t a hoax. We had to verify it wasn’t somebody that was holding him hostage," Rosen said. "He was located in San Antonio Texas. He was located at a bus stop. He was then transported back to Harris County, voluntarily. We didn’t have to do anything other than we want to bring you back to Houston."
Tue June 27, 2023 Brett is found in San Antonio at a bus stop
According to Fox 26 Houston - Harris County Precinct 1 Constable Alan Rosen confirmed with a Facebook post that Brett Detamore, 38, has been located.
Authorities say Detamore was taken to a hospital for medical evaluation and treatment. Constable Rosen expressed the family's gratitude for the support and requested privacy.
According to Fox 26 Houston - West University Police Chief Ken Walker says there was no foul play involved but believes his disappearance was pre-planned.
"We are not investigating the missing person for a crime," he said. "We are still investigating people that may have been complicit in some things that were occurring, and we’ll continue to run those leads down."
WPD has subpoenaed phone and financial records
Detamore has not been charged criminally, but he and his development company were previously face two civil lawsuits.
Detamore had two lawsuits — totaling about $325,000 — filed against him in New York after he allegedly defaulted on a pair of borrowing arrangements frequently used by strapped businesses seeking infusions of fast cash by signing away future revenues. Both cases were filed in Kings County, N.Y. by the same law firm on behalf of clients.
The lawsuit, filed Wednesday, Oct. 4, in Harris County District Court, accuses Brett Detamore of abandoning home construction builds when he executed a plot to go into hiding. Now a $1,000,000 civil lawsuit filed by Zaffer Syed on Oct. 4 in Harris County seeks to fill in some of the gaps.
Before going into hiding, Detamore had already stolen money meant for the construction of homes, the lawsuit says. He falsified invoices and submitted them to a financing bank to acquire the money, according to the lawsuit. “Rather than use the funds for the homes, the stolen funds were used to support Brett Detamore’s lavish lifestyle,” the lawsuit says, alleging Detamore used money on Super Bowl and World Series tickets, high-priced vehicles and a home in Galveston worth more than $1 million.
At attorney representing Detamore told KPRC the allegations are still being reviewed. “The events of the last few months have been tragic and unfortunately the subject of much public speculation and rumor,” a statement from the attorney read, according to KPRC. “Mr. Detamore is getting the help he needs, and the entire Detamore family requests privacy at this time.”
News clip - 2:43
Police - 14:44 6/26/23
Police - 14:52 6/27/23
Report - 6/26/23
Two Lawsuits prior - 6/26/23
Found - 6/27/23
Third suit - 10/9/23
Ad - Encircle Closing Thoughts - Foul Play?
Police said Detamore’s disappearance was pre-planned, and there were no indications of foul play.
No “foul play” suspected
Definition of foul play - “criminal violence or activity that results in a persons death.”
Next Week - Missed a construction estimate by BILLIONS (with a B)
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