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Staten Island Residents Fed Up With Abandoned Mystery Vehicles

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Residents of a Staten Island neighborhood say it's a mystery who owns the cars that are showing up on their blocks.

They say the cars appear not to be abandoned, and just sit on their streets for months.

As CBS2's Jessica Borg reports, it's not easy to get them towed.

"We're the ones who live here," Nancy Wetmore said.

Wetmore said she's fed up with what appears to be a number of abandoned cars on her Staten Island street.

She lives on Van Pelt Avenue -- in the Mariner's Harbor section -- where several cars have out-of-state plates; such as Maryland, Tennessee, and Pennsylvania.

"I would like to see them towed," Wetmore said, "And if you don't belong here, don't come here."

Residents said they see a lot of cars that are rarely moved, with no inspection or registration stickers.

"When you see out-of-state-cars that's parked here for six months two and two don't make four," Pat Forte said.

In 2013, cars started taking up spots on busy residential streets in Queens and Brooklyn.

Officials thought in some cases used car dealerships, even repair shops were storing them there.

Elaine Rosado said what looked like an abandoned car was parked in front of her home on Van Name Avenue for three weeks.

"We called 911 and they told us to put in a complaint to 311," she said.

The city told CBS2 between January and April of this year it received more than 1,300 calls about abandoned vehicles on Staten Island. It's not clear how many were towed.

CBS2 has been told that it has to be determined whether the cars are legally registered, or whether out-of-state pates are part of insurance fraud  before cars can be ticketed and towed.

That could take some time, especially since the cars seem to be parked legally.

"It infuriates my husband," Wetmore said.

Residents said they aren't sure where the cars are coming from or who owns them, but they want them gone.

The NYPD is the agency that tows cars that are abandoned or stolen.

The Department of Sanitation said it tows cars that are derelict -- meaning the cars don't have license plates, or are damaged.

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