Seaside Heights Owners Can Reclaim Towed Vehicles at No Charge, State AG Says
Hundreds of Seaside Heights residents can reclaim their vehicles tomorrow at no charge from a Toms River towing company who was harshly criticized for alleged price gouging and inappropriate towing practices in Sandy's wake.
The registered owners of the vehicles or boats can meet a consumer affairs representative on location to reclaim their property between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. tomorrow Nov. 21 and Friday Nov. 23.
NJ's Division of Consumer Affairs and the president of APK Auto Repair Corp. Matthew Zucaro earlier brokered an agreement where the towing company agreed to release and return all vehicles and watercraft at no cost to the owners if the vehicles were removed between October 27 and November 9.
“We have brokered an agreement that ensures Seaside Heights residents will not have to await the resolution of ongoing investigations into the legality of the towing company’s activities, before claiming their vehicles. Just as important, it also ensures those residents will not have to pay the towing bills,” Attorney General Chiesa said.
To reclaim your vehicle from APK Auto, follow these steps:
- Make sure your vehicle is on the list and see what lot your property is located in by using this online inventory list.
- If you're unable to access the inventory list online, you can call the Division of Consumer Affairs at 1(800)242-5846 to reach an investigator who can help you.
- Visit the lot where your vehicle is located. The Bamber Lot is on 2630 Lacey Road- County Road 614 in Forked River. The Coolidge Avenue Lot is on 2032 Route 37 East in Toms River and the Impound Inventory Lot is on the corner of Bay Boulevard/ County Road 629 and Sumner Avenue in Seaside Heights.
- You can work on site with a Division of Consumer Affairs representative between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Nov. 21 and Nov. 23.
“The bottom line here is that these vehicles were towed due to no fault of their owners,” Eric T. Kanefsky, Acting Director of the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs, said. “Since we learned about this situation, our top priority has been to help the consumers reclaim their property – and spare them from towing fees that were not their responsibility. The owners of these vehicles and watercraft are now free to move on with the more important tasks of assessing the damage to their homes and rebuilding their lives. Meanwhile, the Division will continue to investigate whether this company’s actions violated New Jersey’s consumer protection laws.”
Consumers who suspect price gouging or any other violation of consumer protection laws, particularly as a result of Hurricane Sandy, are urged to call the Division of Consumer Affairs at 800-242-5846.
Consumers who believe they have been cheated or scammed by a business, or suspect any other form of consumer abuse, can file a complaint with the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs by visiting its website or by calling 1-800-242-5846 (toll free within New Jersey) or 973-504-6200.