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Surrey boat dealership under investigation for alleged fraud: RCMP

WATCH: RCMP are asking for more potential victims of fraud to come forward after launching an investigation into Breakwater Marine in Surrey. Anne Drewa reports.

RCMP are asking for potential victims to come forward as they investigate a pattern of alleged fraud at a Surrey boat dealership.

Police say they’ve received several complaints since June against Breakwater Marine, located in the 16000-block of Fraser Highway.

A search warrant executed Thursday at 10 a.m. led to the arrest of one person and the seizure of multiple boats.

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Police wouldn’t say who was arrested or what that person’s connection is to Breakwater Marine. No charges have been laid in connection to the investigation.

According to the Better Business Bureau (BBB), the company’s president and director is listed as Aaron Fell.

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The company itself currently has a “F” rating from the bureau, down from a “C-” just a month ago.

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The dealership’s online BBB profile lists 20 complaints filed since 2016, many of which describe alleged wait times of weeks and sometimes months for payment after consigning boats for sale.

Some of the complaints also allege waiting for proper registration numbers and repairs for boats bought at the dealership.

As police wrapped tape around the business and towed boats out of the lot Thursday, some former customers had similar complaints.

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“I bought a boat from Breakwater Marine and brought it home, but it took them three months to get the registration for the boat and another month for the registration on the trailer,” Roger Bendy said. “Then I took it onto the water and the motor was [damaged].
“[Fell] promised to buy the boat back or replace the motor, and that’s been going on for six or seven months. He broke his promise.”

Jim Regan said he’s worried he may not actually own the boat he bought from Breakwater, and has been trying to track down the previous owner to make sure.

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“Maybe the previous owner was never paid,” he said. “When you follow the trail, there’s a lot of people with the same issues…. I know the trailer is registered to me, but that doesn’t mean the last guy was paid for it.”

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One person at the lot Thursday wasn’t even a customer: Ron Berghuis said he was called by police who told him the Sea-Doo trailer that was stolen 17 years ago was sitting at Breakwater.

“We got a call today that our trailer is here and it’s registered to us and want to come pick it up,” he said. “I’m kind of disappointed the Sea-Doo is missing.”

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None of the allegations have been proven in court.

A majority of the complaints on the BBB website are listed as being answered or resolved.

The profile also includes some positive reviews from customers who thank Fell personally for buying or trading in boats.

Surrey RCMP are asking anyone who may have had dealings with Breakwater Marine to contact them or Crime Stoppers immediately.

— With files from Anne Drewa