CBS: Rogue Cop Writing Bogus City Sticker Tickets

Sounds like a police officer on the Northwest side has a bug up his butt.

According to CBS 2 News Chicago police officer Gary Sanabria seems to be issuing a lot of parking tickets for Chicago city sticker violations to vehicles which clearly exhibit a suburban vehicle sticker.

Reporter Dave Savini interviews a handful of people who visit family members in an area in the 31st ward where Officer Sanabria keeps on writing these $120 tickets to any car without a Chicago city sticker even if they don’t need one.

The good news for these drivers is they’re having good success contesting the tickets and having them dismissed.

But they’re still having to spend an inordinate amount of time fighting parking tickets that should never have been issued in the first place.

What’s the officer’s problem?

No one knows as CBS 2 can’t get a call back from CPD or 31st Ward Alderman Ray Suarez.

Here’s CBS 2′s full story, “2 Investigators: Suburban Motorists Say They’re Getting Socked With Bogus Chicago Tickets.”

35 Responses to CBS: Rogue Cop Writing Bogus City Sticker Tickets


  2. Andrew says:

    Doc…a Point if I may:

    “By ordinance, vehicles that are principally garaged in the city more than 30 days must have a city vehicle sticker.”

    Direct cut and paste from the City Clerks Website.

    Says Nothing about vehicle Registration anymore, and it hasn’t for Months.

    The City Tightened up the ordinance at the beginning of the year as I recall.

    Have an Apt in Chicago but your Car has Indiana plates? Can you prove that you drive back to South Bend for more than 50% of the Month to prevent your vehicle being legally considered “principally stored/garaged within the City Limits” ?

    Beat Cops have the Time to Document and Track vehicles that are in their Assigned Beats. Some Districts are so Safe that this is all Beat Cars do some times. I know for a Fact they do it in my home ward.

    I’ve come across Michigan and Wisconsin and Alaska and Missouri plated vehicles that the CPD have Cited for “No City Sticker” and so long as the Ticket is more than 24 hours old…I will also cite the car and reference the CPD ticket Number that was first Issued.

    Most businesses in Illinois Require some State of Illinois ID/DL for the Application. The Police can run a VIN and check with the Secretary of State to see if a DL or State ID has been issued to the Owner on File. If yes, and it comes back to a Chicago Address, bingo ticket. Takes about 5 minutes through the Police Data Terminal…called a Confidential VIN Check. Revenue can’t do this.

    There are thousands of Residents of this city that Hide behind their Mommy and Daddy’s car or “Oh…I’m just a Student” BS and fall under the ordinance.

    Apologies to the Geek….but FUCK the Scofflaws.

  3. Regarding the first example of Indiana residence, what happened to the Magna Carta, innocent until proven guilty and the 4th Amendment, Due Process? What demonstratable evidence would the city show conclusively proving how much time a vehicle may spend in any particular location over the course of a certain time period?

  4. Andrew says:

    When it comes to parking tickets, you have to prove you are not guilty.

    Did anyone notice not one person that was interviewed showed state issued ID that could prove they don’t live in Chicago?

  5. Pete says:

    So Chicago expects out of state students to put a sticker on their legally registered out of state car just to be in the city for 9 months out of the year? FUCK YOU CHICAGO!

    When the city’s next regularly scheduled budget crisis occurs, I suspect they’ll try to apply this requirement to any vehicle in the city more than 1 week.

  6. Andrew says:

    Pete…..A point if I may….
    After 90 days of residency, all vehicles are supposed to bear Illinois license plates.
    State regulation.

  7. Pete says:

    Exemptions are made for university students, those temporarily located for business, etc. Permanent residents are of course supposed to change their license and registration within 90 days of moving but non-residents do not have to do this.

    This is just another case of Chicago making its own rules. What if some other town required cars to have purple brake lights and started fining anyone from out of town who drove through with the standard-issue red brake lights?

  8. Salty Tea says:

    @Andrew 1: FYI some states do not require a city sticker, your ticketing an out of state plate for city sticker violations may be illegal, please check with your superior and learn. 2: you are permitted to own more than one home, and thus have more than 1 residence, in the case of 3-4 residences, 50% of your time is not spent at any of them.

    @Pete red brake lights are required by federal law

  9. Andrew says:


    Regarding out of state vehicle plates;

    Expired city sticker : Improper Display ticket
    No sticker: CPD Confidential VIN check.

    & please provide City issued proof that there are exemptions Pete.

  10. Andrew,
    Would you cite a car for lack of a city sticker when the car is legally registered in a suburb which does not issue vehicle stickers? Andrew, do you own or lease a vehicle in the city of Chicago?

  11. downtown doodoo brown says:

    Back when I was a college student in Chicago, I had both city and residential zone stickers on my out-of-state plated car. A few weeks after purchasing and displaying said stickers, I started to receive tickets from a cop for “car not registered in zone X.” After receiving two of these tickets, I went to the City Hall/Clerk’s office to inquire why they would sell me stickers for a car that couldn’t legally display them. They told me the cop was wrong, even looked up the ordinance for me, and insisted the tickets were bogus. They also sent me to both the IL Secretary of State’s office and my local police station. Despite not being a permanent resident, and the car being owned by my out-of-state father, both of them basically said, “Tough luck, register your car in IL.”

    I did, however, request an in-person hearing to fight these tickets. Both were dismissed before I was even assigned a hearing date.

    Even if the tickets were bogus, I didn’t feel like fighting these tickets over and over again. So I took my residential zone sticker off and used guest passes from there on out. Problem solved.

  12. The Parking Ticket Geek says:

    The good news or bad news, depending on your point of view is, according to inside sources, the DOR is planning to equip PEAs with the ability via their AutoCITE handheld ticketing computers some sort of access to the Secy. of State database to verify registration addresses. At least that’s what sources are telling me.

    One one hand, this will (hopefully) eliminate or at least cars legitimately registered outside the city from being ticketed for not having a Chgo. city sticker.

    On the other hand, real scofflaws should be easier to determine.

  13. The Parking Ticket Geek says:


    According to the City Clerk’s office, the 30 days you cite above is consecutive days.

    So, if you have your car in the city for 29 consecutive days and then go up to, let’s say, Milwaukee for the weekend, that 30 day ticker restarts.

    I would also say, it would be VERY difficult to prove that a car, registered outside the city, is parking on city streets in defiance of the muni code.

    Would a cop or PEA have to document that a car is parked in front of a residence every night for a month?

    I agree with you there are scofflaws. But here’s the problem with just writing these violations to every car that doesn’t have a city sticker–people who legitimately live outside the city, who don’t need a city sticker, have to go through the painful process of fighting a ticket that never should have been issued. It’s not fair and I would hope responsible ticket writers, whether they’re cops, PEAs or SERCO guys, fall on the side of fairness over being overly aggressive.

  14. Andrew says:

    In Order:

    Doc….I follow the rules for the department I work for. I do not speak for other City Employees, and I restrict my comments to what I know is FACT.

    I have vehicles…and they are Up to City Code, as is required of ALL City Employees regardless of the vehicles Registration….and as is Required of ALL City Residents regardless of location of vehicle registration.

    Mike…actually it is not stated “consecutively” but “By ordinance, vehicles that are principally garaged in the city more than 30 days must have a city vehicle sticker.”

    Principally and Consecutive are different.

    Your 29 days in Chicago +1 in Milwaukee is a non-Starter with the Amendment of the City Sticker Municipal code.

    If your vehicle spends more than 50% of the time in the City of Chicago…and you Live here but the Car is Registered in BFE, Illinois to your Mommy’s house…You live in Chicago and Have to Have the sticker if the vehicle doesn’t spend the majority of the month in BFE, Illinois. And the Beat Cops have the Time to trace and track these cars. PEA’s Don’t.

    Yes Mike…The Cop would have to keep a Log….

    Example of a car I am currently Tracking:
    Arizona Plate: Withdrawn for legal reasons.
    Location: 1600 block of Altgeld/2500 block of Marshfield
    Dates Observed/Time observed: 12/1/10 through 11/1/11
    City Sticker tickets Issued so far: 20 Per Month since September 2011.
    Jagoff still doesn’t have the Sticker…but I know for a fact from a pal that’s an ALO…they are not tossing the tickets out because I have documented the vehicle. And run the VIN…and found the address of Legal Record for the Vehicle Owner happens to be Chicago.

  15. Chances are pretty good if you own or lease a conventional passenger car in Chicago, it already is in violation of the municipal code.

  16. David says:

    Interesting question.

    Let’s assume that I have a car and am a Chicago resident. I have a job in a suburb. I park my car in the suburb Monday Night through Thursday Night each week as I commute to this office for the most part by Public transportation/Bicycle. Do I need a Chicago City sticker? Do I need a sticker for the suburb where my car is parted M through F? What if it is parked in Chicago 3 nights, suburb A 3 nights and suburb B 1 night a week?

  17. The Parking Ticket Geek says:


    Just to be clear, the “30 consecutive days” I speak didn’t come off the Clerk’s website, but comes from a long conversation with upper level manager in the City Clerk’s office. The example is mine, but the interpretation of how the 30 days are calculated is from the City Clerk’s office.

    The muni code, as you can see by our competing interpretations is vague here. Is it consecutive days? Is it 30 single days within the a year’s time? The muni code does not say. Therefore, it is up to ALOs to determine on a case by case basis. I hope you would agree this portion of the muni code is one of many areas that need to be cleaned up to be clearer and fairer for everyone.

    As far as the car you’re tracking, the 20 tickets per month serve as sufficient documentation. But even more importantly, you have the address of the vehicle owner as residing in the city. In this particular case, based on your info, this person sounds like a scofflaw and would have problems defending against these tickets in a hearing.

  18. Rinzler says:

    This should help everyone out.


    The CITY OF CHICAGO, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. Erin C. DRISCOLL, Defendant-Appellee (The City of Chicago Department of Administrative Hearings, Defendant).

    No. 1-06-2198.

    – May 30, 2007

    Court ruled that if you live in the city you must have a city of Chicago sticker even if the vehicle is registered elsewhere.

    Don’t play the games. Buy your sticker.

  19. The Parking Ticket Geek says:


    Your example has the room spinning on me.

    I need to sit down before I pass out.

  20. David says:

    Sorry to set the room spinning. Its not quite my situation. My car, often, spends 4 nights a week NOT at my house, but in the garage at my office. Its not actually an issue in my case as both the work garage and my house are in Chicago so I am clearly okay with my Chicago vehicle sticker…

    my office lease is up sometime next year and I may move a few blocks away… which could put me outside of the City of Chicago for the office garage/lot. I would reside primarily in Chicago… but would my car?

    And what about someone who does a “New York” and lives in the City of Chicago, but parks their car ALL OF THE TIME outside of Chicago… and only uses the car for trips outside of the city. What if, for example, they park the car in a relative’s garage in Harwood Heights or Elmwood Park or Franklin Park. The car is registered in Chicago, but never IN Chicago. Does it need a sticker? It would seem, applying City of Chicago logic, that it would not need a sticker for Chicago.

    This is why, frankly, the whole idea of a “City Sticker” would be better handled by a single uniform state fee set at an appropriate level to support all of the needed road construction.

  21. David says:

    Andrew wrote:
    If your vehicle spends more than 50% of the time in the City of Chicago…and you Live here but the Car is Registered in BFE, Illinois to your Mommy’s house…You live in Chicago and Have to Have the sticker if the vehicle doesn’t spend the majority of the month in BFE, Illinois. And the Beat Cops have the Time to trace and track these cars. PEA’s Don’t.

    My comment:
    Okay. What about the following:
    1. Car parked five overnights a week on a street without a City Sticker. Would seem like an easy one. But what if the parker is, for example, the manager of large overnight retail store and that’s where they park it for work each night. And when the store manager is not working, he moonlights two other jobs. The net result is that his car spends 90 hours a week IN chicago.

    2. Another Car is never parked overnight in Chicago. Seems like an easy one. But what if Parker holds down a Night Job (5 nights a week) in a suburb and has a “friend” that he visits 2 nights a week. He lives in Chicago and parks during the day (his night). Does he ever get caught?

  22. Sheryl says:

    I think you’re all missing the point. They do live in Chicago! It’s their own Chicago neighbors reporting them every day. They’re frustrated because the police won’t do anything about it but write ticket after ticket each day. 20 tickets in 14 days? Unless you’re employed at that single family home, there’s no way your visiting that often! They’re now parking in the garage like they’re hiding from the Repo Man! Their neighbors PAY for those parking spaces on their own block. If those deadbeats continue to attempt to beat the system by avoiding the fees, guess what? Fees rise.

  23. Andrew says:

    I’ll put it this way mate…

    If the Plate comes back Suburban…and with a VIN check the DL and State ID’s come back anywhere other than the City of Chicago….no one is going to issue a city sticker ticket.

    BUT…if an Industrious Officer keeps track and documents a specific vehicle (or gets repeated complaints from people that point out that the vehicle is there ALL the time) a Ticket can be issued because Registration of the Vehicle is not the Litmus test for the Municipal Requirement.

  24. The Parking Ticket Geek says:

    I understand your points Andrew.

    I don’t have sympathy if a true scofflaw gets ticketed. There is the possibility in cases like this, there are legitimate reasons why a car registered out of the city limits is spending nights in Chicago.

    Could be someone shacking up with a boyfriend or girlfriend, or a home care giver/babysitter, etc.

    I just don’t like people who are following the rules, getting stung by overly zealous enforcement.

  25. Optimus Prime says:

    Only solution to this is do what the other cities are doing. Make Chicago resident parking only from 12am-6am on only Residential streets. Main streets and business streets would be exempted. Every year when you apply for a city sticker, the city should give you visitor passes or placards to display to anyone not registered in the city within that enforcement time. That would eliminate a lot of people who are registered in the suburbs from taking up peoples parking spots. I understand businesses are open late, but that is not anyone from Chicago’s problem, people from the suburbs need to figure out what they need to do. Since there is a lot of restrictions on business streets and main streets this would force people who live in Chicago and have their vehicles registered in the suburbs to register their cars in Chicago. (or risk being ticketed)

    again i might be wrong…

  26. Greg says:

    The only thing I will say, Optimus, to your statement that it is the suburban folks problem and not anyone from the city’s problem, is that it could hurt the businesses in the area, especially the late night bars, if it forces people to leave by midnight. There was plenty of uproar from the businesses on raising the parking rates and putting new meters in many places they weren’t before.

    Now granted, I would the majority of the patrons are from the city, but there certainly are suburbanites who frequent the city, especially on weekends.

    I have felt the city is slowly making it less and less friendly for suburbanites to cross the city borders and spend money here by a lot of its actions.

  27. Andrew says:

    Greg…it wouldn’t hurt the businesses at all.

    There are Parking Lots all over the city in the bar areas….

    Or Metered streets that can be Used.

    I’d rather see a 9pm-9am Overnight permit for non-RPP residential streets.

    Cities like Oak Park ban on street parking over night….they all come to Chicago to park in the Austin/Madison/Roosevelt Neighborhoods.

  28. GARY SANABRIA says:



  29. GARY SANABRIA says:



  30. FreedomFighter says:

    It shows activity on the CPD part, so they keep writing them to dictate that they are working and helping to bring in more revenue, but the reality is that every time he writes a knowingly bogus ticket, the officer is falsifying documents. This is not just a municipal crime, it should be grounds for termination. He has been warned time and again that these cars are not displaying any improper city tags(and this is whether the tags are current for their city or not). If the vehicle is not registered in Chicago, there are certain violations that CPD does not have the jurisdiction to enforce. Period.

  31. FreedomFighter says:

    And to all you folks saying that people register their vehicles in areas other than where they live. So What? You can’t make someone register their vehicle where you want them too. There are people that live in Chicago and have their vehicles registered in Nevada and CA. That is not the end all in paying taxes. You don’t pay for the right to park on a city street with a $76 sticker, you pay for that with your property taxes. That’s ridiculous. Stop paying so much attention to others and not enough to your own issues. If the car is properly registered to whatever city and has proper tags, it is not illegal to be on ANY street. If it is registered to another municipality and does not have proper tags, in most cases city police do not have the jurisdiction to write those tickets.

    As far as the sister of the man, who received over 20 tickets in 14 days, she could be coming in the city to baby sit her nieces and nephews. Who cares!!! The tickets are bogus…I.E. they are being dismissed. If they weren’t then this would not be a story. The officer is wasting valuable resource time doing this, but remember, he wouldn’t keep doing it if there wasn’t someone in authority giving him the continued go-ahead.

  32. Gabriel Monroy says:

    The whole point of this issue is the following: Chicago has a huge crime problem; primarily because cops do everything but police. And yet, cops are utilized primarily for the purpose of collecting revenue for a bankrupt city that wastes money every chance it gets. Chicago residents are hostage to a CPD Union and a beuracratic parasitic machine that does nothing to protect and serve, and everything to serve its members. When will enough be enough?

  33. Gello Pudding says:

    I wholeheartedly agree with Gabriel Monroy. And what’s with this fuckhead, Andrew, who keeps making irreverent and irrelevant points!? This parking ticket problem is not solely limited to the City of Chicago; it’s everywhere there are cops, which means, it’s everywhere. So many law enforcement professionals are not self-righteous parasites; rather, they are thoughtful and caring individuals who want to help their fellow citizens. Unfortunately for these exceptional souls, their power-tripping, bloodsucking brethren delight in doling out punishment and take pleasure in seeing folks suffer. Fuck these asswipes. And FUCK YOU Andrew! You’re a scourge. Get a fucking reason to live other than creating misery, you stupid piece of fucking shit!

  34. The Watcher says:

    The burden of proof IS NOT on the citizen for a parking ticket. In all civil matters the burden i=is on the plaintiff/complainant: The signature of the officer is them stating that the burden of proof is met and that all the facts on the ticket are prima facie true. If Andrew is that stupid not to understand the concept of burden of proof there is no way he should have a badge…..

  35. Andrew says:

    Hello Gello..

    Piss off. Both Sides have people with Opinions. No one here is saying the cops that were writing the BS tickets should get away with it.

    But I’m pointing out that there are people that game the system because they think they are above the rules.

    And anytime you want to step outside from behind your computer and say that to me…name a time and place you cowardly Pussy.

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