“Little known to him,” he recalled. “Her watch was connected to her phone.” VanWingerden said his wife’s Apple Watch was providing notifications that messages were being sent from her phone number to an unknown number. Police have since confirmed that the number belonged to Chandler. “What was being sent was obviously, I would say, explicit or very sensitive information that married couples may have on their phone,” VanWingerden said.
According to the woman’s husband, an Apple Watch helped uncover a MetroNet contractor’s claimed effort to steal sensitive images from her phone. According to Philip VanWingerden, the contractor arrived to his family’s new house in late March to perform a transfer of service request. He said that his wife was at home with his sister while he was working an hour away. VanWingerden stated that the contractor, later identified as Robert Chandler by Lexington Police, requested VanWingerden’s wife’s smartphone in order to test the internet connection. He told LEX 18 that she felt this was a typical request and handed it to him before he left the house.
VanWingerden said an investigator told him Chandler has done this to other women. LEX 18 reached out to Lexington Police to inquire about Chandler’s past, but we have not heard back. VanWingerden said MetroNet was initially helpful, but since then, he and his wife have not heard anything from them. They did receive one thing from the company: a bill for the service. “I think the least they could do is knock that bill off,” VanWingerden said. “But aside from that, I think just making sure they’re doing a better job of vetting their employees and who they’re choosing as contractors.”
“[She was] not hysterical but concerned,” VanWingerden recalled. “Like, ‘Hey, you need to come home. It’s about the MetroNet installer. We’ve got a problem.’” VanWingerden called the police, but Chandler had allegedly left. When officers arrived, Chandler had apparently returned to the neighborhood. Lexington Police said an officer confronted Chandler, who allegedly admitted to sending four images and two videos to his personal cellphone. Chandler has been charged with the distribution of sexually explicit images without consent and unlawful access to a computer in the fourth degree.
“In late March, we were made aware of a disturbing allegation regarding a contractor working on our behalf. We immediately shared that allegation with the contract company and that contractor was terminated. We stand ready to cooperate fully with local law enforcement to assist them in their investigation of this matter. The contractor’s alleged behavior is unacceptable. We will be reaching out to our customer to work with them on this matter.”