Broken flowers: Richmond private investigator tracks Valentine’s Day cheaters

Posted at 8:11 PM, Feb 13, 2015
and last updated 2015-02-13 20:13:21-05

RICHMOND, Va. – Flowers, candy, romantic cards; it's nearly impossible to avoid them around Valentine's Day.

But not everyone is spoiling their better half. Some are spending their time and money on someone else.

And that's when retired Richmond police detective Philip Brunson gets called.

"It's all different walks of life,” said Philip Brunson, who works now as a private eye.

CBS 6 rode along with Brunson while he monitored an apartment complex in the Far West End, the place where a cheating partner goes to visit his mistress.

"They're living separate,” Brunson said. “But one party actually comes here at times and I have documentation of that.”

That’s not the only documentation -- photos and video -- he has of cheaters in the act.

“Mostly at night,” is when Brunson said he catches them. He sees about 60 percent of men cheating on their wives but admits more women are doing it too.

"It's like a chess game,” he said. “Some of the females think many moves in advance and some of the men don't,” said Brunson.

He pointed out what to look for in a cheating partner.

"Secret phone calls, phone calls at odd hours of the night,” said Brunson. “Sometimes the spouse might notice strange debit or credit card purchases."


In fact, one study suggests that people who cheat are three times more likely to do it again. People who suspect their partners are unfaithful are 10 times as likely to be suspicious in their next relationship.

And a new study found that 30 to 60 percent of married couples cheat on their spouses.

"I think you reach a certain age that it's not something you do anymore,” said Erika Mihalovich.

"It's not something I really thought about because I myself haven't,” said Jimmy Comer.

Experts say other signs that a partner is cheating is a change in routine, like leaving work early or arriving home later, as well as changing their appearance in some way.

Those same experts say that the bottom line is: don’t cheat and you won’t get caught.