NORTHEAST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - A former pastor has been arrested after allegedly defrauding an elderly couple out of thousands of dollars.

Police said 63-year-old Yvonne Hampton-Barley was taken into custody at her Miami Gardens home earlier on Wednesday.

Miami-Dade Police detective Angel Rodriguez discussed the arrest at a news conference held Friday.

“When a member of the community that is elderly is exploited, we take these crimes very, very seriously,” he said.

Detectives said the suspect posed as the daughter of one of the victims to add her name to their home deed.

“During the course of this time, this individual pretended to be one of the victims’ daughters and basically retrieved funds from his checking account, which totaled over $18,000,” said Rodriguez.

Detectives also discovered the suspect gained power of attorney.

“This individual is also responsible for adding herself to the victim’s checking accounts, altering the retirement fund,” said Rodriguez.

When she gained access to the couple’s bank accounts, police said, she withdrew the money.

According to investigators, the elderly couple has known the pastor for 10 years and attended the church where she served as the pastor.

The victims suffer from early-onset dementia and Alzheimer’s.

A family member noticed the changes that were made, after the fact, and called the police.

A 7News crew knocked on Hampton-Barley’s home on Friday morning after she bonded out of jail, but no one came to the door.

She faces one count of elderly exploitation, two counts of grand theft and another count of organized schemes to defraud.

“There was an element of trust, there was a relationship established, and so, this is what makes this crime so disheartening,” said Rodriguez.

The former is set to appear in court on Jan. 13.

Investigators are now asking the public to come forward if they have been personally victimized by Hampton-Barley by calling Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS or the Miami-Dade Police Department at 305-476-5423.

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