WOBBLY WHEEL: 2 suspects on the run for Houston-area scam targeting elderly

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Two men have been identified as suspects who have allegedly preyed on elderly victims in the Houston-area as part of the notorious "wobbly wheel scam."

According to the Harris County District Attorney's Office, Paul Yonko, 34, and Nick Stanley, 27, are on the run as part of the case.

District Attorney Kim Ogg said the duo posed as good Samaritans and allegedly informed a 75-year-old driver at a gas station of a wobbly wheel on his vehicle. The pair offered to help replace the wheel for free but asked to be reimbursed for the cost of parts.

According to Ogg, the pair acted like they were helping but were actually not doing the job. After they were supposedly done, the suspects, Ogg said, escorted the victim to an ATM and got more aggressive for their repayment.

The district attorney's office said the men eventually got the victim to give them $1,000 before leaving the victim.

A $5,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest of either suspect. The district attorney's office is urging anyone with information to contact Houston Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.

Yonko and Stanley face a charge of aggravated robbery of a person 65 years of age or older, which carries a penalty of five years to life in prison.

Ogg also urged people, especially the elderly, to be protective if they are approached by anyone pointing out a wobbly wheel.

"Don't fall for it," Ogg said. "If you are approached, if you feel uncomfortable, go inside the store where there are other people around and ask for help."

READ MORE: Wobbly wheel scam sets woman back $600

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