LAMAR, Mo. – A married couple who run a Lamar business are now both charged with allegedly stealing from customers.
Denis and Brenda Masters own and operate The Rustic Barn Flea Market in Lamar, Missouri (Barton County). Prosecutors had previously charged Denis with the theft of thousands of dollars in payments and merchandise in four separate cases.
Now, the Barton County Attorney’s Office has added two felony theft charges against Dennis and his wife, Brenda.
Cases against Denis
The Lamar Police Department investigated several incidents, leading to four separate counts of felony theft.
- Denis allegedly stole $2,000 in May of 2022 after someone paid that price to purchase a portion of a chicken coop. Authorities say product or refund has been issued in this case.
- He is accused of stealing $6,000 in March of 2021 to purchase a shed. Authorities say he never delivered or refunded the money.
- In April of 2022, authorities accuse Denis of stealing $2,000. They say he was hired to install gutters on a house, but the job was never done or the money was paid back.
- Investigators say in a fourth case, he took a $1,000 lawn mower to replace the engine. The victim paid $400 and Denis allegedly promised the engine would be replaced, but would not return it to the owner. The owner of the lawn mower contacted the police. Denis took the lawn mower to the police station to return it. However, officers say they have seen no evidence that the engine was changed.
New allegations against entrepreneurs Lamar
According to court documents, prosecutors charged the couple with two counts of theft of $750 or more.
Both defendants posted $8,200 cash bond.
The probable cause court filing says the couple financially exploited an elderly individual from 2020 to 2022. They allegedly sold 68-year-old insulation to be installed in a garage for $6,200 and a silo to convert into a gazebo for $2,000. Neither was completed.
The written check for the services was written to Rustic Barn, a business run by Brenda and Denis Masters. The $2,000 check was written directly to Denis.
The victim claims that while trying to get the product he paid for, he spoke to both of them several times. The victim claims she did until Denis came to her house, she yelled at her and put her in fear of him. She claims, according to the documents, that she was afraid to try any further to get the product.
The victim claims the crash caused her health problems, including an anxiety attack and increased blood pressure.
He later states that Denis never made any further attempts to deliver the products nor attempted the job.
According to court documents, “Brenda said she was aware that Denis went home and caused some sort of disturbance.”
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