Thursday, September 18, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Illegally Storing Flood-Damaged Cars Nets Fines

The manufacturer who illegally stored thousands of flood-damaged vehicles on his property in Mansfield after Hurricane Sandy hit was recently fined $22,000. More than 3,500 damaged cars, trucks and boats were deposited at the 40-acre site for processing before they were sold at an online salvage auction.

Illegally Storing Flood-Damaged Cars Nets Fines

Thousands of storm-damaged and water-logged cars, ruined by Hurricane Sandy, were parked in a 40-acre field in Mansfield, N.J. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
Thousands of storm-damaged and water-logged cars, ruined by Hurricane Sandy, were parked in a 40-acre field in Mansfield, N.J. (AP Photo/Mel Evans) AP

The Burlington County manufacturer who illegally stored flood-damaged vehicles on his property off Route 295 when Hurricane Sandy hit has been fined more than $20,000.

Karl Massaro, owner of Vanco Trailer Manufacturing, had allowed 3,500 ruined cars, trucks and boats to be deposited on an unused portion of his lot in Mansfield last November without obtaining township permission.

A Mansfield Township judge issued the fine earlier this month after Vanco pleaded guilty to zoning violations, said Robin Bucchi, the zoning officer.

Massaro could not be reached for comment.

"The lot looks clean now, and it looks like they tilled the soil to plant grass," Bucchi said. She said that all of the vehicles were removed last month after the zoning board refused to approve the storage.

The mayor had accused Vanco of "dumping the cars in the night" and said the company created a hazard and eyesore. Massaro had leased the land to Copart USA, a Dallas-based firm that conducts online auctions of salvaged vehicles. He said earlier that the vehicles were being temporarily stored there so they could be processed for re-sale. His lawyers said that the storm had created an emergency and that Massaro did not think he was doing anything wrong by accepting the vehicles.

The vehicles were among the estimated 72,000 that were destroyed in the storm.

Jan Hefler
About this blog

Written by Inquirer staff writer Jan Hefler, the Burlco Buzz blog covers breaking news in the the county, as well as its quirky characters, crime cases, politics, outdoor recreation and environment. Contact Jan at jhefler@phillynews.com.

Jan Hefler
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