The mystery of the sneaky Hollywood car dealer has been solved.
In advance of the hurricane, the city allowed residents to park in its public garages for free, but a local car dealer beat them to it, parking 24 vehicles in the garage at 19thand Polk Streets.
Residents were not happy to find the garage nearly full, with vehicles that had the the price tags still on them.
“The garage had double and triple cars parked inside. I didn't want to leave my car there,” one resident said on Facebook.
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“How selfish,” said another.
Others were not as charitable.
“I hope someone names him so that he can get some free bad press,” said another.
“Hang him!”' shouted another.
City officials said the dealer would be ticketed as as many vehicles as possible would be booted.
“The lot was designated for residents as a last resort for those who live on the beach and other areas subject to a storm surge — not for a local car dealer, said Hollywood spokeswoman Raelin Storey.
The dealer, identified by the city on Tuesday as Keijo Kiilo of Miami, owns Autoline, two used car lots — one on Dixie Highway in Hollywood and the other on North Federal Highway in Hallandale Beach.
Hollywood spokeswoman Joann Hussey said he was ticketed for violating a city ordinance that prohibits the use of public property for private business. The fine per violation is $500, which means he potentially owes $12,000 for parking 24 vehicles in the garage.
Under the ordinance, he could also, theoretically, spend up to 60 days in jail for each violation, which is nearly four years in jail.
The Miami Herald was unsuccessful in reaching Kiilo by phone Tuesday. He has been ordered to appear in court, but a date has not been set.