Fresh charges for Albany woman Rochelle Phyllis Arends who allegedly stole $50,000 from an 86-year-old man
Albany woman Rochelle Phyllis Arends allegedly stole more than $50,000 from an 84-year-old man by gaining his trust using a false name and under a false pretence of offering to repay him.
The 84-year-old man is one of three new alleged victims of Ms Arends, a 23-year-old Spencer Park woman who is due to face Albany Magistrate’s Court today on a string of stealing and fraud charges.
Albany detectives revealed today that they had laid three fresh charges against the woman as part of Operation Seakist, an investigation into stealing and fraud offences involving older members of the Albany community.
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Police will allege that between August 2020 and February 2021, Ms Arends convinced the 84-year-old to give her $50,080 cash through 66 transactions.
She allegedly used a false name and falsely offered to repay the man.
Between April and May of this year, Ms Arends allegedly gained the trust of a 68-year-old man and convinced him to give her $31,902.20 in cash through 28 transactions.
Again, police say she used a false name and falsely offered to repay the man.
They say the matter was brought to their attention after staff at the man’s bank became suspicious about the transactions.
Ms Arends has been charged with stealing in relation to the 68-year-old man.
Finally, on May 27, police say Ms Arends approached an 86-year-old man who was sitting inside his vehicle on Serpentine Road, opening the passenger door and joining him inside the car.
She allegedly asked the man to give her a cheque for more than $10,000, but instead, he gave her a cheque for $5500 written out “for cash”.
“Upon attending her bank to deposit the cheque a staff member became suspicious and refused to cash the cheque,” police said.
“The cheque was seized and the matter was reported to police.
“It will be further alleged the woman returned to the victim and obtained another cheque for $2500, however the cheque was destroyed in the presence of police who intercepted her at a shopping centre before she could attempt to cash it in.”
Ms Arends has been charged with attempting to gain benefit by fraud over the May 27 incident.
The investigation is ongoing and anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or crimestopperswa.com.au.
Albany detectives have encouraged family, friends and carers of elderly people in Albany to check on their welfare and report any financial irregularities.
Anyone who believes they or a member of their family might have been a victim in such circumstances should contact police on 131 444 or report the matter in person at Albany Police Station.
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