An Albany woman has pleaded guilty to illegally taking more than $100,000 from older and vulnerable members of the community after a string of offences in which police said she preyed on the good nature of her victims. Rochelle Phyllis Arends, 23, was arrested on May 27 as a result of Operation Seakist, an investigation by Albany detectives into reports of stealing and fraud offences against seniors in Albany. At the time, police said her methods involved befriending the victims, stealing property from their homes, making ATM withdrawals against their wishes and accessing their internet banking accounts to make cash transfers. After her arrest in May, Detective Sergeant Darryl Noye described the offending as “heinous” and said Arends was targeting people who had “worked their whole life to save money”. “We would allege she offers a reason to these gentlemen as to why she needs money and preys upon their good nature and their vulnerability as being elderly and wanting to look after people in the community,” Det. Sgt Noye said in May. “We’d be alleging the lady is not being forthright in regards to the reasons that she is asking for this money and the victims are feeling sorry for her and this has been an influence in them handing over money for a purpose that is not truthful.” Arends faced Albany Magistrate’s Court today, appearing via video-link from Melaleuca Women's Prison, where has been remanded in custody after repeated breaches of bail. The Spencer Park woman pleading guilty to 11 counts of gaining benefit by fraud and nine counts of stealing committed in 2020 and 2021. The court was told she took $46,080 from one of the victims, an 85-year-old Albany man, between August 2020 and February 2021. In April and May of this year, she took $31,902 from a 68-year-old man through 28 transactions. In both of those cases, Arends used a fake name and falsely offered to repay the victims. The offences against the 68-year-old man were brought to the attention of police by staff at his bank after they became suspicious of the transactions. Defence lawyer Kyah Langdon said it was an “unusual fraud case” and she wanted a pre-sentence report and psychological report to be prepared for the court. Magistrate Dianne Scaddan ordered the reports. Arends will be sentenced on December 9.