Disabled parking sting nets woman parking with a dead relative’s placard

BELLEVILLE, IL (KPLR) – Investigators have seen it all when it comes to people trying to sneak into a disabled parking spots. The person they caught today pulled the most common trick: using someone else's placard.

Illinois Secretary of State Police scoured the parking lots around St. Clair Square in Belleville, Illinois.

Shopper Savannah Morris said she knows someone they can catch.

“One of my exes actually has a handicap thing; that’s his mother-in-law’s. He used to do that all the time,” she said.”

Within short order, police think they’ve spotted an offender. Investigators focused on a vehicle with an expired placard, owned by someone with a date of birth of 1929. The driver walked out of the mall and told officers it's her mother-in-law’s placard and that she’s picking her up soon. Police told the woman they knew the truth.

“It’s pretty clear cut that it’s a deceased family member’s placard that they were using. No reason for that,” said Sgt. Gary Washburn, Illinois Secretary of State Police.

The busted driver faces a six-month suspension on her driver’s license and a $600 fine; that's if it's her first offense. The fine and suspension time increase with each offense.

Around this time, Wilyam Moore rolled by his wheelchair.

“They just busted somebody for parking in the handicap spot and I’m literally handicapped for real, ha-ha-ha, that’s crazy!” he said.

Moore said he likes the fact that police are looking out for people abusing handicap parking privileges.

“That’s good. They need to start doing that a lot more, busting people, because people are using other people’s things that are not registered to their car,” he said.

The Illinois Secretary of State Police is doing this for people like Wilyam, especially on a shopping day, where any space is hard to find.