Authorities in and around lower Camden County had their hands full Friday evening as over 1,000 vehicles descended upon a large shopping center parking lot for an unsanctioned car rally.

Unsanctioned Car Gathering in Berlin, NJ

The Berlin Police Department says just before 6:00, their officers were called to the Berlin Shopping Center on the White Horse Pike for what was advertised on social media as "Mega Meet; New York VS New Jersey VS Pennsylvania."

Arriving officers found an overflowing parking lot, which was causing traffic issues on surrounding roads, vehicles parking on sidewalks, and "numerous patrons urinating in public."

Authorities say "this event did not include any official notifications to the Berlin Police Department" and was allowed by the Monaco Go-Cart Arena, one of the few businesses operating in the largely empty shopping center, however, the owner of shopping center advised police that the event was not permitted and needed to stop immediately due to safety concerns.

Berlin Shopping Center on the White Horse Pike in Berlin NJ
Berlin Shopping Center on the White Horse Pike in Berlin NJ - Photo: Google Maps

As the Berlin Police Department was breaking up the crowd, officers with several neighboring departments — Winslow, Gloucester Township, Berlin Township, Clementon, Lindenwold, and Berlin Borough — arrived to assist along with Berlin's fire department, fire marshal, and office of emergency management.

From One Big Problem to Lots of Small Problems

All vehicles that were asked to leave did so in an orderly fashion but as the parking lot emptied, police responded to two accidents, calls for shoplifting, and numerous complaints from residents in the area that reported loud vehicles driving recklessly.

Multiple smaller car meets then developed at Pasta Vino, McDonalds, Scotto’s Pizza, Royal Farms, Prime Storage, and other surrounding businesses, which officers also responded to.

Scotto's Pizza and McDonald's in Berlin NJ
Scotto's Pizza and McDonald's in Berlin NJ - Photo: Google Maps

The Berlin Police Department reported no injuries and the incident remains under investigation. They did not indicate if anyone was arrested.

Deadly Unsanctioned Car Rally in Wildwood, NJ

Local police departments have been dealing with an increase in unsanctioned call rallies over the past few years, most notably the H20i rally in Wildwood in September 2022 that left two people dead.

A 38-year-old man from Delaware was sentenced to 25 years in prison in connection to the tragic events that happened that weekend.

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