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Stolen trailers being sold on Kijiji, Marketplace leads to arrest of Spruce Grove man

A trailer stolen in the Edmonton area and then resold online.
A trailer stolen in the Edmonton area and then resold online. Supplied by the Edmonton Police Service

A Spruce Grove man has been arrested after nearly a million dollars’ worth of various kinds of stolen trailers were fraudulently posted for sale online and sold to unsuspecting buyers, some of whom are now out a lot of cash.

Between November 2022 and last month, Edmonton police received 21 reports related to commercial trailers that were fraudulently posted for sale online and then purchased.

The ads and purchases included Super B, hopper, hi-boy and flat deck trailers, most of which police said were priced significantly below market value.

A trailer stolen in the Edmonton area and then resold online. Supplied by the Edmonton Police Service

In each incident, the trailer was posted for sale via an online marketplace like Kijiji or Facebook Marketplace and once the sale was completed, the buyer was told to meet in a lot to pick up their new trailer.

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Sometime later, police said the the buyer learned the trailer was fraudulently posted for sale online and had been reported stolen by its rightful owners.

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In total, more than $920,000 worth of stolen trailers were listed for sale and, to date, 13 of the 21 stolen trailers that were sold have been recovered.

As of publishing, police said innocent buyers have lost a combined total of more than $140,000.

The accused primarily posted the trailers for sale on Kijiji, however, at times also posted ads on Facebook Marketplace, police said.

He was known to use several aliases for his ads, including Ray Ford, Victoor Rapall and Ben L’Smith and often communicated with his buyers via text message.

The trailers were typically listed for sale in Edmonton and Calgary, though most of the sales took place in the Edmonton area and majority of the trailers were picked up from lots within city limits.

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In October, police identified a suspect and on Tuesday, Jan. 30, arrested Rayne Bernard Bart, 31, and his girlfriend in Spruce Grove.

Bart faces 23 criminal charges and one Traffic Safety Act offence, including three counts of fraud over $5,000 and theft over $5,000, five counts of uttering a forged document, and four counts of attempted fraud over $5,000. He’s also charged with two counts of breaching the conditions of a release order.

Bart’s female partner has since been released without charges, police said.

Police continue to actively search for the outstanding trailers and believe there may be more victims.

“At this time, we believe there may be additional stolen trailers that were sold to unsuspecting buyers,” Const. Cassandra Grant with EPS west branch patrol said.

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“As a result, we are releasing information related to Mr. Bart’s sales, in hopes that anyone who has been defrauded and/or has had a similar type of trailer stolen comes forward to police.”

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Additionally, police are encouraging anyone planning to purchase a trailer via an online marketplace to take the following precautions:

  • Ask the seller why they are selling the trailer.
  • Obtain a bill of sale and verify the seller’s identity through photo ID. Inform the seller that you want this before meeting — police said this will deter those selling illegitimate property from selling the property.
  • Check the trailer’s serial number on the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) website to determine if it is stolen.
  • Take screenshots of the advertisements, the advertisement ID number, the seller’s contact information, and all communications.
  • When meeting to pick up the trailer, suggest meeting during the day at a public location, ideally with video surveillance, such as one of the EPS Buy and Sell Exchange Zones.
  • If you locate property being sold that you believe to be stolen, call police at 780-423-4567.
  • Remember: if the price appears too good to be true, it usually is.

Anyone who believes they may have been victimized is encouraged to contact the EPS at 780-423-4567 or #377 from a mobile phone.

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Anonymous information can also be submitted to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or online at www.p3tips.com/250.

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