Prosecutors: Man bilked thousands from 80-year-old victim

Pierce County authorities say an alleged attempt to bilk an 80-year-old man out of thousands of dollars is an example of elder abuse.
Tino Sabala, 36, was charged Aug. 7 by the prosecuting attorney’s office with three counts of theft for stealing $3,500.
Prosecutors gave this account of Sabala’s alleged actions that led to the charges:
On July 14, the victim drove into a Tacoma service station to get gas. Sabala accused the victim of hitting his car, which he claimed was worth $150,000. The victim didn’t believe he hit Sabala’s car, but was nervous he would lose his license, so he offered to give Sabala his insurance information. Sabala demanded $200 cash and said he would fix it himself. The victim gave Sabala $100, and Sabala drove the victim to his house to get another $70. Sabala told the victim it was going to cost $2,000, not $200. He drove the victim to a check-cashing business, where the victim cashed a check for $2,200 and gave the money to Sabala. The teller said the victim looked lost and scared, and Sabala kept calling the victim “dad.”
Sabala said he needed more money and drove the victim to a Nordstrom store, where he forced the victim to purchase $1,226 worth of shoes for Sabala. After the transaction, the victim indicated to an employee what was going on, and Sabala fled.
“If you suspect elder abuse, please call law enforcement,” said Prosecuting Attorney Mark Lindquist. “We can all help protect vulnerable citizens in our community.”