4 of 6 suspects charged in Houston wobbly wheel scam still on the run

Posted at 7:03 AM, Jan 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-08 08:03:14-05

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Houston police say four of the six people in a 'wobbly wheel' scam that targeted more than 50 people are still on the run.

Sam Yonko, Nick Stanley, Sue-Ellen Stanley, Monico Mito, and two other suspects are charged with engaging in organized crime and theft.

Investigators say the suspects were known to operate in the area of Westheimer Road from the 610 West Loop to Highway 6, Richmond Avenue inside the 610 Loop and S. Main Street near Braeswood Boulevard.

The suspects at that location would follow a victim and honk or yell that their front wheel is loose. If the victim pulled off the roadway, the suspects would then convince them the wheel could be fixed with a part they happen to have with them.

According to investigators, the suspects would then ask to be reimbursed for the part after repairing the wheel and would drive the victims to a bank or ask for payment in gift cards.

The suspects often had children in the car so the victims could lower their guard.

"In many cases, they have children in the vehicles with them. And they'll use that to let the victim's guard down," Investigators said. " And that's one of the little tricks they use. (They) have women and children in the car with them."

Investigators say the suspects are responsible for scamming 50 people in southwest Houston.

Anyone who has fallen victim to the scam is asked to contact police.