Handicap parking placards being stolen from vehicles in Prince G - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Handicap parking placards being stolen from vehicles in Prince George's Co. neighborhood

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GREENBELT, Md. -

Someone is preying on disabled drivers in a Prince George’s County community. They are breaking out car windows and damaging property all to steal handicap parking placards.

It is something that you don't like to see -- somebody messing with a handicapped person.

For Nancy Smith, every step is hard work. Smith walks with a cane. She had breast cancer and lymphoma at the same time. She now has arthritis, a spinal issue and a buildup of fluid in her arm.

“It's just a little swollen because I have no lymph nodes there from the breast cancer,” she said.

But what really hurts right now is what happened overnight Friday into Saturday outside her condo near Greenbelt.

Somebody smashed out her car window. But they took only one thing: the handicap parking placard that was hanging on her mirror.

“I just think it's ridiculous,” said Smith. “That people stoop so low to steal something from a handicapped person. There are a lot of handicapped people worse off than I am.”

Prince George’s County police have received two reports. But at the condo complex where Smith lives along Greenbelt Road, they tell us it has happened at least seven times in the last two months.

Glenn Bartley told us it happened to his ex-girlfriend back in 2011.

“They damaged all four of my windows,” Bartley said.

That cost him $7,000.

“They could have took the car if they wanted to, but I guess they didn't want the car, they just want the permit,” he said.

But it says right on the placard that it is illegal to use a placard issued to somebody else. We are told they are still sold out on the street.

Smith just went to MVA on Monday and got a handicap plate to replace her placard.

“It took three hours out of my time yesterday,” she said.

The loss of time she can get over, but the aggravation will take a while.


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