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UPDATED: Seaside Heights Residents Can Reclaim Their Towed Cars

New agreement between state and towing company

UPDATE: According to Jeff Lamm, Public Information Officer for the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs, residents of Seaside Heights will be able to retrieve their towed vehicles or remove personal items from inside those vehicles at the APK Auto Repair and Impound Towing lots on Monday, Nov. 26, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. DCA investigators will be on hand at the site to assist vehicle owners.

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Seaside Heights residents can reclaim their cars and boats from a Toms River company that towed vehicles from the barrier island community following Hurricane Sandy.  

The registered owners of the vehicles and watercraft can reclaim the items between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Wednesday and Friday, and at additional times to be determined next week, Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa announced Tuesday.

APK Towing of Toms River has been accused of taking cars from private property in Seaside Heights, as well as price gouging. The company's Route 37 and Coolidge Avenue location was surrounded by crime scene tape and under police guard last week.

The state has 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," Chiesa said.

The agreement was signed by Eric T. Kanefsky, acting director of the state Division of Consumer Affairs, and Matthew Zucaro, president of APK Auto Repair Corporation, doing business as APK Auto Repair and Towing.

Under its terms, APK will release and return, without cost to the registered owners, all vehicles and watercraft that APK removed from Seaside Heights between 12 p.m. on Oct. 27 and 12 a.m. on Nov. 9.

The vehicles include those transported from Seaside Heights to APK’s storage facilities by a third party. 

 In order to claim their vehicles or watercraft, the registered owners should:

  • View the list of vehicles and watercraft, available at www.NJConsumerAffairs.gov/APK.pdf to determine whether your item is included on the list; and learn whether it is being held at the “Bamber Lot,” “Coolidge Avenue Lot,” or “Impound Inventory” lot. (Note that some vehicles on the "Impound Inventory" list may have been towed prior to the storm. Those vehicles are not included in this agreement).
  • If you are unable to access the list online, or if you have additional questions, call the Division of Consumer Affairs at 800-242-5846.  An investigator will respond to you.
  • Visit the lot at which your vehicle is located.  You will be able to work on-site with a Division of Consumer Affairs investigator at each of the three lots, between the hours of 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.  Wednesday, November 21, and between the same hours on Friday, November 23.  The Division of Consumer Affairs will set additional hours for the following week, and will post the hours at www.NJConsumerAffairs.gov.
  • 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.

“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,” Chiesa said.

The agreement signed by the Division of Consumer Affairs and APK does not preclude further investigation by law enforcement. APK admits no wrongdoing in the agreement.

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.

walter November 21, 2012 at 03:26 PM
We also were at that meeting and the fellow next to me got up to ask about APK Towing residents' cars, and why there was nothing on the Seaside Heights website explaining what was going on and why. Gilmore and Akers seemed nonplussed for a moment then promised to put something on the town's homepage. Nothing yet.
1stcav November 21, 2012 at 03:33 PM
Jay Gee: the Prosecuter's office did nothing to get Mike, it's was the people who contacted the AG's office and the Fed's that were called in, and did it ! Some of the " good old boys club " are county employee's, it's like the" fox guarding the hen house" !Big people are brought down, ask Bernie how 's the tuna Bernie ? Martha will have Bird this year & even Mike may get some Pigeon...not that he deserves any . How did Mike's mansion due in the storm ? so...sad....on so many levels !
1stcav November 21, 2012 at 03:49 PM
APK:Matt I hope you get WHAT you surly deserve hear on earth, before you meet your maker...have a lousy Turkey day. You made your bed ( MONEY $$ ) now you have to sleep in it !!!!!!! Joe he wasn't just trying to make a living as you stated, he was in fact ripping people off after they lost EVERYTHING !!!!!!!!! I see the light , there is a difference ....In most dept. the police TAG cars THEY want towed, but you were GIVEN " Free rain " to tow EVERYTHING for the almighty dollar, ALL involved here SHOULD be INVESTIGATED . From the Mayor right on down the line , and let the chips fall where thy may, and people HELD accountable and be FIRED or resign for there BIG Pension's , on the tax payer's dime of coarse Said : with tongue in cheek !!!!
Tina November 21, 2012 at 09:03 PM
this story was already on ABC, FOX (i was on it) and News 12
Tina November 21, 2012 at 09:04 PM
the investigation only just started.
Tina November 21, 2012 at 09:07 PM
my car was returned to me already. my car was completey flooded out, and not repairable. it had minimal damage from them draggin it out of my back yard parking. some scrape marks, bent in tail pipe. a dent. I knew I was going to have to junk it because of the flooding. it was principal for me. I signed my complaint with the prosecutors office, and got my car back that is all i wanted.
Rem November 22, 2012 at 01:58 AM
After the storm i knew people would be holding their hands out helping others who lost everything in the storm and then there are others that were rubbing their hands together just waiting to take advantage of the situation. As far as APK goes Automotive Pricegouging Krooks . Get them out of town and hope the contract with seaside hgts is canceled also. This does not mean that you can't go after APK yourself for time lost and damage to your car let alone it being stolen. And as far as the town goes all the republican jerks that are still in except for Jerry little can pound salt. The command center at high school north never saw our sheriff Polhemus must have been farting dust somewhere. And Gilmore you think he cares
mjmjr November 22, 2012 at 09:08 AM
WHAT NO JAIL TIME FOR THIS ACT,HE SHOULD LOSE HIS LICENSE AND NEVER BE ABLE TO TOW AGAIN.WHO IS HE SLEEPING IN TOWN WITH.
mjmjr November 22, 2012 at 09:13 AM
I HEARD THEY JUST GOT A CONTRACT FROM TOMS RIVER,TO TOW CARS.
SystemIsBroken November 22, 2012 at 09:14 AM
Wasnt this the tower who was towing cars illegally out of Kohls parking lot in Toms River..staging them across the street at Dover Mall then bringing them to his site on Coolidge and 37 the week before Christmas several years ago???? Once a scumbag... always a scumbag
Calvin November 22, 2012 at 02:54 PM
The System is Broken for sure and not limited to just this towing companies. The public school systems is broken too. There really is no accountability. It is not like they are going to lose the funding every time someone pulls their student out of school because they are clearly not doing what they should be.
steve November 22, 2012 at 03:48 PM
Calvin...Correct and nothing will change the corruption will continue.
Rem November 22, 2012 at 06:30 PM
APK hope you choke on your turkey or maybe your having crow.
Jay Gee November 23, 2012 at 02:01 AM
ditto: Calvin...Correct and nothing will change the corruption will continue. Calvin...Correct and nothing will change the corruption will continue. Calvin...Correct and nothing will change the corruption will continue. Calvin...Correct and nothing will change the corruption will continue. Calvin...Correct and nothing will change the corruption will continue. Calvin...Correct and nothing will change the corruption will continue. Okay, i'll stop now, but could go on forever and ever. BTW....IS APK STILL IN BUSINESS? IF SO, WHY? CAN ANYONE DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT BEFORE INVESTIGATION WHICH WILL PROBABLY WILL TAKE FOREVER...? IS THERE NO WAY TO GET THEM OUT OF BUSINESS SOONER? AND THE CORRUPT BAS*TA*D'S IN SSH AND WHEREVER ELSE.....
steve November 23, 2012 at 03:28 AM
Greed is going to make the world that we all know come to an end. This is the beginning of the end. Self destruction, natural disasters is the beginning of the end. Amen.
dainty November 23, 2012 at 03:50 AM
Worst part is.. it was a "local" person who should have helped and not ripped off his neighbors. The investigation isn't over yet. IF they have done it before, they'd better go to jail. As an example to others that seek to take advantage of others. Pitiful!
Jay Gee November 23, 2012 at 03:56 AM
yup, uh huh, yup...it's a comin. sure is. yup,uh huh, yup. AMEN
steve November 23, 2012 at 12:40 PM
Don't think a "local" is so innocent. Even some of those have agendas and put on a show. Maybe not now, down the road looking for a favor or job in return. They no how to work it.
Jay Gee November 23, 2012 at 06:30 PM
mhmm....mhmm...yes, mhmm....
Sal November 27, 2012 at 04:39 PM
They STOLE my vehicle and they Stole MY BOAT off of MY Property and now they expect me to pay to have them towed back to my home at my expense. Why haven't there been criminal charges placed against them for stealing my private property???? Why is the Police Department ignoring this Grand Theft??? Why is the Ocean County Prosecutes Office ignoring this Grand Theft??? We don't need protection from looters__we need protection from the public officials who ALLOWED our property to be stolen from us as they look the other way. Is this why they prohibited us from returning to OUR homes and Our Property so they can steal and pilfer from us??? Everyone involved must get together and make a Federal Case out of this as a Taking of Private Property without Just Compensation.
Jay Gee November 28, 2012 at 06:39 AM
WHERE IS MY POST, PEOPLE....I DON'T SEE IT????? WHY CAN ADVERTISERS POST, AND I CAN'T???
Jay Gee November 28, 2012 at 11:41 PM
WHERE IS MY POST, PEOPLE, I DON'T SEE IT?/???? WHY CAN ADVERTISERS POST, AND I CAN'T MAKE TRUTHFUL STATEMENTS WITHOUT THEM BEING TAKEN OFF.???????????????????????????????????????
Jay Gee November 28, 2012 at 11:53 PM
@SAL..........I REPLIED TO YOUR POST BUT IT WASN'T POSTED. THEY "STOLE YOUR VEHICLE AND BOAT." OF COURSE, THEY DO ANYTHING THEY LIKE. OF COURSE YOU HAVE TO PAY. NO CRIMMINAL CHARGES, OF COURSE NOT. IT'S GOING TO GET WORSE. MARTIAL LAW WILL PREVAIL IN SEASIDE AS NOT ENOUGH OWNERS ARE AROUND TO FIGHT BACK, AND IF THEY DO, IT'S RETALIATION ON THEM, ESPECIALLY IN SSH. THERE BRAND OF LAW, OR SHOULD I SAY LAWLESSNESS IS USED ON TAXPAYERS THERE ALL THE TIME. THEY DON'T THREATEN PERPETRATERS. THEY TOLD THE PEOPLE THAT THE TAX PAYMENT WAS DEFERRED TIL DEC. 17. OWNERS GETTING MAIL....PAY BY CERTIFIED CHECK. BULL....... POLICE IN BED WITH OFFICIALS. POLICE TAKE YOUR INFORMAITON WHEN YOU CALL THEM CONCERNING WHAT SOMEONE DID AGAINST YOU. AGAIN, NOT THE PERPETRATOR. YOU ARE THE ONE THEY WILL ARREST. YOU ARE LIVING IN A PLACE CALLED "STUCK' YOU ARE STUCK THERE. WRITE TO CHRISTIE. WRITE TO OC PROSECUTER. CALL THE GOVERNOR'S OFFICE AND COMPLAIN. HOW CAN WE GET TOGETHER. YOU DON'T KNOW WHO IS WHO, AND WHO IS READING THESE POSTS. OH, BOY, WHAT IS THE USE. THERE HAS TO BE A WAY. WE'LL HAVE TO FIND ONE.
Jay Gee November 28, 2012 at 11:54 PM
WHY IS POST PENDING APPROVAL????????????????????
Jack December 01, 2012 at 05:23 PM
ANYONE FROM SSH SEASIDE RESIDENTS LETS GET TOGETHER AND MAKE A DIFFERENCE With a large group, we can invite the media. Start making the town the way it should be before many good people abandon the town due to the neglect of its laws and lack of respect for its people. Close the bars early Enforce the ordinances for noice and health The time is now Contact me LETS MARCH TO CITY HALL AND DEMAND A CHANGE AFTER THE NEW YEAR
Jay Gee December 02, 2012 at 08:02 AM
@JACK.....NOTHING WILL CHANGE. LET'S DO IT, AND NOTHING WILL CHANGE. MEETING COMING UP. WE'LL LISTEN TO WHAT YOU HAVE TO SAY
Jay Gee December 02, 2012 at 09:48 AM
@JACK, AND AT THE MEETING, IF THERE ARE PROBLEMS, THEY WILL END THE MEETING. THEY ARE IN CHARGE. NO MATTER WHAT. NO ONE WILL STOP THEM. THEY WIN, YOU LOSE.
Jack December 02, 2012 at 03:06 PM
Jay Wrong approach I agree that they will end the meeting That's their game Believe me, I know This organized effort is for all of the SSH citizens that have had it and there are many of us (1000's) Timenis our Allie We want to get the word out over the next 60-90 days Let everyone f'ind out and tell their friends Email,twitter, Facebook news media Then march to city hall (nonmerting or meeting day .... Doesn't matter The word will reach the town officials They will be forced to address the issues. News will pick it up If the town ignores the majority's proposals an attorney can file a class action law suit The town needs to reopen While that takes place, the word needs to be spread I have a web site that anyone can blog in regarding SSH IT WILL BE RUNNING IN A DAY OR 2 so people can discuss and we can accumulate contacts over the next 60 days and then set a date The town will no longer push our issues aside We need to bring families back and better the quality of life in SSH MAKE IT A YEAR ROUND PLACE TO DINE AND BE AT instead of a 3 month free for all. Give incentives to builders and eateries to develop Get on board We need your help
Concerned citizen January 04, 2013 at 04:55 AM
Apk towing is innocent of any wrongdoing. The prices were set by the corupt politicians of ssh. The truth will come out and these guys will be owed a huge apology. The state has cleared them just waiting for the corupt politicians of ssh to figure out if the prosecutor should charge them so they won't have to pay them. The town should have taken care of the bills from the start they ordered the towing private property and all you all will see.
CanWeTalk? January 04, 2013 at 06:19 AM
@Jack and @Concerned Citizen. What now? Everyone still in power. It's January. Could this be true about the APK not having done the sour deed?

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