Can My Ring Doorbell Get Stolen Before Capturing Video?

We live in a world where sadly anything man made can be stolen. So when considering installing a device like the Ring Doorbell which costs a considerable amount of money to purchase, we understand why your thoughts turn to theft. In this article we look at the safety aspect of owning a Ring Doorbell as well as answering the question can the Ring Doorbell get stolen before capturing video evidence?

The Ring Doorbell has a field of view of anywhere between 1.5 metres (5 feet) to 7.5 metres (24.5 feet) which means anyone stepping into anywhere between 5 to almost 25 feet of your Ring Doorbell will be caught on video.

It is virtually impossible for anyone to get close enough to your Ring Doorbell to steal it without getting themselves caught on video in the process

Of course that doesn’t mean that your Ring Doorbell can’t be stolen, it just means there will be video evidence of the theft.

How Difficult Is It To Steal A Ring Doorbell?

In some ways you’d have to admire the thief that stole your Ring Doorbell, because it’s no easy task. Not only is it attached to the mains electricity, it is also secured using special screws which need a specialist tool to remove. 

With that said, a determined thief is likely to be able to remove the Ring Doorbell from your home in minutes. Sure, it has a secure back plate screwed into the wall using special security screws, but a determined thief will have a crow bar or similar and just rip that back plate clean off the wall.

Why Would A Thief Steal Your Ring Doorbell?

It seems like a lot of effort for a small reward, right? Ring Doorbells cost on average somewhere around £90 so the thief would probably get around £20 to £25 for it. Which, taken on its own, isn’t a great deal. But if that same thief stole 10 or 20 Ring Doorbells then he’s looking at quite a good return for what is effectively a few minutes work.

Also there’s the opportunistic thief who doesn’t realise you have a Ring Doorbell when he starts trying to break into your home. When he does notice it, he removes it in an attempt to remove any evidence of his break in attempt.

Something More Sinister

The likelihood is that the majority of Ring Doorbell thefts are from chancers looking to make a quick return for their ill gotten gains or opportunists who never saw the Ring Doorbell until they’d started trying to gain access to your property. 

However, some criminal gangs have been known to steal Ring Doorbells in order to make it easier the next time they come visiting. Many criminal gangs work outside the law on a daily basis, it’s their career, and so they put in all of the necessary groundwork before undertaking a big job.

That groundwork might include removing your home’s Ring Doorbell to make their subsequent break in undetected. They can then return at a later date (probably sooner rather than later) and get into your home and steal the property which they were really after all along.

Ring Doorbells Continue To Record Even After Theft

Many thieves don’t realise that the Ring Doorbell will continue to record even after it has been removed from your home. Not for long, but possibly long enough to provide enough video evidence for the police to catch the thief. Plus you will have enough evidence to prove that your Ring Doorbell has been stolen.

If your Ring Doorbell is stolen, the thief will not be able to access your account or delete any recordings, your account is still safe and secure

What Happens If Your Ring Doorbell Gets Stolen?

According to their website [1], if your Ring Doorbell is stolen, at any time after purchase Ring will replace it for you free of charge. As long as you have followed certain procedures which include reporting the theft to the police as soon as possible, receiving a crime number from the police and filling in a short online form informing Ring of your loss.

However there are a few provisos concerning the free replacement of your Ring Doorbell which are;

  • For you to receive a free replacement, you need to have been the original purchaser of the Ring Doorbell.
  • They will only replace your Ring Doorbell once.
  • You have to have purchased your Ring Doorbell directly from Ring.
  • You must claim within 15 days of the crime and the claim must include copies of the original sales receipt as well as the police report.
  • They can refuse to offer a free replacement if they suspect any fraud, or any other reason.
  • They have the right to replace your Ring Doorbell with whatever model etc they choose (not necessarily the one you originally purchased).

If you have contacted them within the timeframe and meet all of their requirements, you should receive your free replacement within 7 to 10 days (subject to postal conditions).

To protect your Ring Doorbell you should have cloud recording set up to ensure sharing the video footage with the police.

Ways To Prevent The Theft Of Your Ring Doorbell

Now we have some ideas as to why your Ring Doorbell could possibly be stolen, let’s look at ways to prevent that potential theft. 

Fix The Ring Doorbell To A Solid Wall

One reason Ring Doorbells get stolen is because the surface used to secure them to, is anything but secure. If you only screw your Ring Doorbell into the door frame, which is made from wood, it can easily be splintered and weakened.

If you were to fit that same Doorbell, using the same screws into masonry, it’s a much stronger surface. Which makes it far more difficult for any would-be thief to prise the Doorbell from the wall. Of course, a determined thief could eventually get the Doorbell from the wall, but being more difficult might just deter a chancer.

Use A Protective Cover

The reality is that the harder you make it for the criminals to steal your property, the more likely they are to look elsewhere. Which is where protecting your Ring Doorbell in a tamper proof cover comes in. These are relatively inexpensive and could save you the extra hassle of replacing your Ring Doorbell.

Not only do these tamper proof covers potentially prevent the theft of your Ring Doorbell, they also keep out water, dust and anything else which might find its way into your Doorbell.

Add Another Camera

Surveillance Camera

If you want to protect your Ring Doorbell and your home even more, you could install a camera pointing towards your porch or doorway. This gives you another layer of protection which the potential thief might not notice. Which gives you that extra opportunity to capture the criminal in the act.

Plus, the footage can be given to the police in the event of any crime being committed. 

Also an extra camera can act as a preventative measure because if the would-be thief sees an extra camera that cannot be easily reached, they might just think your home is too much work for so little reward.

Put Up A Sign

As we established earlier on in this article, most thieves are opportunistic and are looking for an easy, undetectable crime. 

If you put up a sign telling them you have video protection around your property, it will at least make them think twice. And more than likely they will move onto somewhere else where the pickings look easier.

Check Your Notifications Regularly

The good thing about the Ring app is the notifications it keeps updating you with. For the first few days or weeks of having the Ring Doorbell installed you will be thrilled by the amount of notifications you receive. But over time it can become just another annoyance in a day which is probably already hectic enough.

Seeing the postman, milkman or the neighbours walking by can become a bit boring over time. However, protecting your home is about being vigilant, which means paying attention to every notification. Of course if you know someone is already home, you can switch off slightly. 

But be warned, that one time you can’t be bothered to check, could be the one time the thief strikes. Consider sharing the notifications with other family members to help take the load off. Maybe allocate times when each user watches for notifications.

What Else Can You Do?

Smartphone

We’ve now looked at why the Ring Doorbell might get stolen and the ways to reduce the risks of it getting stolen. As well as what to do if you are unfortunate enough to get yours stolen. Is there anything else you can do?

Well yes, there are a few more things you should consider, which are;

Back Up The Data

Even if there’s absolutely nothing going on in your area, backing up the data to the cloud or to an external hard drive is a good habit to get into. This is because on the one time that something untoward does happen, you’ll already have recorded evidence. 

You should be updating the back up at least every 2 to 3 weeks. This will give you a good record of all that has happened up to the point your Ring Doorbell got stolen. Which could give the police just enough to identify any potential criminals as they looked at your property for the first time.

Keep Your System Updated

Updates are necessary as technology improves, and is a part of all digital technology. If you don’t update your system as soon as the updates become available, you run the risk of your device being vulnerable. Ring can update your system automatically, be sure to allow this.

Increase Your Network Security

To aid the criminals in their quest to relieve you of your property, many try to hack your system. You can make this far more difficult for them if you regularly change your passwords and run regular security checks. Another good idea is to get email alerts every time someone tries to access your account.

Include The Ring Doorbell On Your Household Insurance

This might seem like an unnecessary step as Ring will replace the Doorbell if it’s stolen. However, they will only replace it once and should it get stolen again, you would not be covered. Also, it’s not just the bell that is going missing which could be the problem.

The thieves will probably damage your doorframe or wall as they remove the Doorbell. If you have included the Doorbell in your insurance policy any subsequent damage to the surrounding areas should also be covered.

Use The Neighbours App (Neighborhood App in USA)

Already attached to the Ring Doorbell app is the Neighbours app which is designed to keep all neighbours in your area who have Ring Doorbells aware of potential thefts from their properties. Most thieves operate in a certain area which means one of two things.

Either you will learn of recent Ring thefts in your area and you can then be on your guard. Or you can help others by informing them of the theft of your device.

The app allows you to communicate with neighbours in your area as well as with the police and Ring too. It’s like a digital neighbourhood watch scheme.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you keep someone from stealing your ring doorbell?

It is impossible to keep someone from stealing your Ring Doorbell but you can make it less appealing to any would-be thief. Ensure that your Ring Doorbell is secured to a wall and not a wooden door frame which is easier to break, fit a protective cover to your Ring Doorbell, add an extra security camera pointing towards the Doorbell or display a sign stating that video surveillance is in operation.

What happens if my ring doorbell is stolen?

If your Ring Doorbell is stolen, Ring will replace it free of charge as soon as you have received a crime number from your local police.

Can thieves hack the ring doorbell?

Thieves can hack the Ring Doorbell which is why it is important to regularly update the software and change your password frequently.

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