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'Handy' App Cleaners Linked to 50 Robberies, Police Say

By Noah Hurowitz | February 3, 2017 4:41pm | Updated on February 6, 2017 8:53am
 Two bags worth nearly $8,000 were taken in July by a worker for app Handy, police said.
Two bags worth nearly $8,000 were taken in July by a worker for app Handy, police said.
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Shutterstock/Aleksandr Mokhnachev

MANHATTAN — Handy cleaners have sticky fingers, according to the NYPD.

The NYPD is warning New Yorkers about using the house-cleaning app Handy after logging dozens of property-theft crimes by people hired through the service in the past year.

"In 2016, there were over 50 crimes reported to the NYPD related to theft of property after internet based company Handy.com was contracted by NYC residents.  In the past month, a Handy employee was arrested for such incident," The NYPD’s Community Affairs Bureau wrote in an email to the public this week urging Handy users to safeguard valuables when inviting a stranger into their homes. 

In July, a cleaner hired through Handy stole a pair of pricey designer bags valued at $8,000 after cleaning an apartment in the Financial District, police said at the time. 

Police did not release the details of the other incidents.

Jennifer Hanley, a spokeswoman for the company, said they were working with the NYPD.

“Needless to say, we take any allegation of improper conduct seriously,” she said in an email. “We have worked with the NYPD in these rare instances, and have also met with City Hall and other city leaders to ensure the platform continues to connect New Yorkers to high quality home service providers.”

She added that its "fully vetted professionals" did 300,000 jobs in New York in 2016 and that anyone who uses the employment side of the platform undergoes background checks.

Handy is not the first app to run into trouble thanks to the misdeeds of some of the people who provide services through those platforms.

Uber, Lyft, and other ride-sharing apps have consistently faced accusations of not doing enough to protect customers from sexual assaults at the hands of drivers.

And a GrubHub deliveryman was arrested after beating a superintendent of an apartment building who tried to stop him from locking his bike to her building.