More alleged victims come forward after elder abuse crimes come to light

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Prosecutors are looking into even more claims of crimes targeting seniors.

We first reported over the weekend that the Elder Abuse Justice Unit asked more victims to come forward after two suspects, Katy Sterio and Dino Costello, were charged with credit card theft.

Investigators said they claimed to be family friends of a Mililani couple and invited themselves into the couple’s home.

On Tuesday, we got our first look at court documents connected to that case. In those documents, we learned that Sterio is also accused of stealing another woman’s credit card just days earlier.

Since our story aired, prosecutors say more possible victims have surfaced.

Deputy prosecuting attorney and Elder Abuse Justice Unit supervisor Scott Spallina is looking into the pasts of Sterio and Costello.

He says even if people were told there wasn’t enough evidence in previous cases, it’s important to come forward.

“Since your story broke over the weekend, we’ve had several other individuals not only come to your station, but to come to our office indicating, ‘Hey, I think I was a victim of this case,'” he told KHON2. “We encourage everyone to call the police, just dial 911. Don’t be afraid to dial 911, because they’ll assess whether or not it’s an emergency or not.”

This case is just a small part of a larger issue. According to the Elder Abuse Justice Unit of the city prosecutor’s office, elder abuse is up 300 percent in recent years.

Spallina says if you have older family members who live alone, watch for any changes in their routine and ask if they’ve talked to anyone new.

Make sure they are checking bank accounts. Spallina says criminals target seniors in crimes like credit card and identity theft. “A lot of victims discover the crime is happening when they take a look at their credit card reports because then they realize, ‘Hey, wait a minute. I didn’t put that item on there. I didn’t purchase this item here.’ And then they realize, ‘Oh my gosh, my credit card’s missing’ or ‘I never got the replacement credit card from the credit card company.'”

If you feel you, or a loved one, are a victim of elder abuse, you can also contact the Elder Abuse Justice Unit directly by calling (808) 768-7400 or (808) 768-7536, or email elderabuse@honolulu.gov.

Click here for more information.

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