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Tricks Nairobi househelps use to steal from employers

It has become a trend in the city for househelps to steal from their employers, either days after starting work or even after years of slowly studying the household.

Nairobi News has compiled incidents on how househelps have turned into unarmed robbers and we also suggest a remedy for each situation.

As a rule of thumb when hiring househelps, always ensure you know the person well and have a family contact you can refer to in case of any criminal activity. Also trust your instincts and do not hire someone when you are desperate for help.

1. Pretending to be hardworking and spiritual
When, as an employer, you are unable to find fault in a househelp who you hired recently then there is a problem.

Different houses are managed differently and have varied rules and ways of doing common household chores. If a househelp is perfect at her work despite being in a new environment and you have never raised complaints then that is a warning sign.

The criminal elements have perfected the art of pretending to be holier than though so as to avoid raising eyebrows as they make their evil plans.

Watch out for these two traits to avoid having a good househelp-gone-bad situation as most employers end up saying.

2. Forming a cartel of househelps
Friendships are part of us as human beings, but when they are formed too fast they could be suspicious.

When a recently employed househelp knows three of your neighbours’ househelps in two days then there could be a cartel being formed. Or worse still, a cartel could already be existing between them.

Cases of househelps plotting and robbing their employers as a team are common and can only happen if they know each other well.

Break such cartels by informing the affected employers in your neighbourhood to create an awareness that will ensure everyone is alert.

In Nyayo Embakasi estate for instance, a househelp was on Monday cornered by guards after she was found leaving her employer’s house with four suitcases.

A search inside the bags revealed that some of the items belonged to her employer, others to her employer’s neighbours whose househelps were even helping her carry the bags.

3. Failing to account for small amounts of money
Househelps are often charged with the responsibility of managing the day to day expenses.

If you notice that honest accounting is not done after money has been spent, that is a worrying trend.

Employers have lost thousands of shillings to househelps who take advantage of the trust bestowed on them to steal thousands from handbags or accumulate change from daily expenditures.

If you notice your househelp has problems accounting for money spent, have them write every expenditure down and if they do not co-operate start hunting for a new househelp before it is too late.

4. Faking foul moods and illnesses

Househelps handle most of the household’s chores and being human they are bound to get tired or unwell. However, when this becomes a trend or you notice a change of attitude there is need to investigate the cause of the foul mood or dismiss the househelp.

During dismissal, care should be taken to ensure all her luggage is checked and any access she previously had to the house withdrawn.

5. Going for off-days very early in the morning when employers are asleep

Some househelps have perfected the art of stealing in small, unnoticeable bits and so every off-day they ensure they leave early with a household item.

If you notice your househelp leaving the house very early in the morning on her off-day, you should start being aware of every item in the house so that you re able to tell when something goes missing.

That way, you will be able to avert a looting spree before it even starts. In other words, know every corner of your house and every item inside.