Edmonton Police Service has charged a man relating to a series of 21 fraudulently sold commercial trailers, including Super B, hopper, hi-boy and flat deck trailers, most of which were priced significantly below market value, police say.
“In each incident, the trailer was posted for sale via an online marketplace and once the sale was completed, the buyer was instructed to attend a lot to retrieve their new purchase. Sometime later, the buyer learned that the trailer was fraudulently posted for sale online and had been reported stolen by its rightful owners,” EPS said in a media release.
While police estimate the value of the fraudulently listed trailers at $920,000, 13 of the 21 trailers have been recovered. Buyers have lost a combined total of more than $140,000.
Police accuse 31-year-old Rayne Bernard Bart of the spree which police say occurred between November 2022 and January of this year. Police say he was arrested in Spruce Grove on Tuesday, January 30.
Bart faces 23 criminal charges that include accusations of fraud, theft, and breached conditions.
Police continue attempts to recover the eight missing trailers and believe there may be additional victims.
“At this time, we believe there may be additional stolen trailers that were sold to unsuspecting buyers,” said EPS Constable Cassandra Grant. “As a result, we are releasing information related to Bart’s sales, in hopes that anyone who has been defrauded or has had a similar type of trailer stolen comes forward to police.”
Police say Bart used aliases Ray Ford, Victoor Rapall and Ben L’Smith and that he primarily used the online marketplace Kijiji, and at times used Facebook Marketplace communicating via text. The trailers were often listed for sale in Edmonton and Calgary, though most sales took place in the Edmonton area and most trailers were picked up from lots within Edmonton city limits, police say.
EPS encourage anyone who may have been victimized by Bart to contact them at 780-423-4567. Anonymous tips can be submitted to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.