Man charged with scamming elderly victim out of cash, shoes

TACOMA, Wash. -- A 36-year-old man was charged Thursday with kidnapping and intimidating an elderly victim into giving him $3,500 in cash and newly purchased shoes.

According to the charges filed in Pierce County Superior Court, the 80-year-old victim pulled into a Brown Bear Car Wash to get gas July 14 and was immediately confronted by Tino Sabala, who accused him of hitting his car, which he claimed was worth $150,000.

Sabala reportedly declined the victim's offered insurance information, instead telling the victim to give him $200 and he would forget the whole thing. The victim didn't think he had run into Sabala's car but was nervous about getting arrested or losing his license, so he gave him $100.

According to the charging documents, Sabala drove the victim to the victim's house, where the victim gave him another $70. Sabala reportedly told the victim he now required $2,000 to fix his car and took the victim to Money Tree to cash a check for the rest.

Despite getting another $2,200 at Money Tree, Sabala told the victim it still wasn't enough and refused to take him back to his car, instead driving him to Nordstrom at the Tacoma Mall, where he had the victim buy him $1,200 worth of shoes, according to the charging documents.

The victim was able to explain what was happening to an employee, and Sabala reportedly ran off.

Employees at Money Tree and Nordstrom described the victim as frail and appearing to be lost and scared. They said Sabala, who kept calling the victim "dad," was physically intimidating.

According to the charging documents, officers identified Sabala as the suspect after he stole a spare tire from a car lot across from police headquarters July 25. He was arrested Wednesday.

Sabala has been charged with multiple counts of theft in connection with the incident.