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CBS 2 Catches Black Friday Shoppers Misusing Handicapped Parking Spots

CHICAGO (CBS) -- The Secretary of State's Office launched its Black Friday operation: hunting down shoppers who misuse parking spots meant for the disabled.

CBS 2 decided to go on a sting of its own. CBS 2's Lauren Victory reports it didn't take long to find a problem.

At Ford City Mall at 7601 S. Cicero Ave., despite several empty parking spaces, there were still people not following the rules.

From non-existent spots to signs expired for more than a year, improperly using handicapped spaces didn't seem to be a concern for some Black Friday shoppers.

Perhaps they were caught up in sales.

"I got it, I just forgot to put it in the window," said one woman.

Another man forgot to put up his placard -- he may have been saved $250 by CBS 2's reminder.

Handicap placards must hang from the rearview mirror or be on the dashboard to park in an accessible area.

An officer said he was patrolling the Bedford Park Walmart to deter thieves -- and to nudge handicap violators.

Dave Goodpaster snaps photos of rule breakers and posts them to the Facebook group he started called "Illegal Disability Parkers."

"My daughter is disabled and just after 13 years of seeing people abuse the spots, I just figured that I had to do something," Goodpaster said.

Violators are called out in Chicago and the suburbs.

In Tinley Park, CBS 2 confirmed one illegally parked car is registered to a retired state representative.

The Secretary of State's Office said he has a disability placard, but it didn't appear to be displayed. Plus, he's parked in a spot with stripes next to an accessible one.

That problem has also popped up in La Grange, Downers Grove and New Lenox in the past two weeks.

"It's supposed to be for the ramps to come down on the disabled vans. So that the drivers or the passenger who is disabled can get in and out of the van," Goodpaster said. "Since I started the page, I've had a lot of people message me saying, thanking me … they had no idea. I educated them."

If publicly shaming isn't your thing, or you want to report an abuse more officially, you can actually file a complaint on the Secretary of State's website

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