Hundreds of Seaside Heights residents whose cars and boats were towed after Sandy will be able to reclaim without penalty beginning Wednesday, officials said.
Authorities said APK Auto Repair Corporation towed the vehicles from the island after Sandy, between noon Oct. 27 and midnight Nov. 9. The attorney general is investigating whether it did so legally.
In the meantime, the registered owners of the vehicles and watercraft will be able to pick them up between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Wednesday and Friday, and at additional times to be determined next week.
Under an agreement between APK and the state's Division of Consumer Affairs, the Toms River towing company will release and return the vehicles without cost to the owners.
"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," Eric T. Kanefsky, acting director of the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs, said in a statement. "Meanwhile, the Division will continue to investigate whether this company’s actions violated New Jersey’s consumer protection laws.”
APK admits no wrongdoing in the agreement, according to authorities.
In order to claim their vehicles or watercraft, registered owners should log on to njconsumeraffairs.gov/APK.pdf or call the Division of Consumer Affairs at 800-242-5846 to determine where their item is being held. They should then visit the lot where the vehicle is located, between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 21 and Friday, Nov. 23, and work on-site with a Division of Consumer Affairs investigator to get their vehicle back.
The “Bamber Lot” is located at 2630 Lacey Road / County Road 614, Forked River. The “Coolidge Avenue Lot” is located at 2032 Route 37 East (at the corner of Route 37 and Coolidge Avenue), Toms River. The “Impound Inventory” lot is located at the corner of Bay Boulevard / County Road 629 and Sumner Avenue, Seaside Heights.