There has been an uptick in thieves stealing the video doorbells. And, even though these perpetrators know they are on camera when they do it, they don’t seem to mind the obvious risk. Having your video doorbell stolen is not just an inconvenience, it could put you at risk of more crime that your video doorbell intends to deter.
Though we don’t yet have full statistics on how video doorbells have decreased crime in neighborhoods where homeowners use them, we do know that video doorbells can help deter criminals in the first place. Generally, when someone who wants to commit a crime—whether that be stealing a package from a doorstep or something much more malicious—knowing that they could be caught on camera may motivate them to go elsewhere.
Video doorbells can be a great security system for your home, but it’s not their only purpose. This desirable piece of technology has led thieves to steal the devices, despite the risk of having their image captured and being caught. There have been an increase in robberies of video doorbells in places like Las Vegas, Tennessee, Florida, and California. Back in 2018 in Congress Park, Denver, a thief or thieves made headlines for stealing multiple video doorbells.
Having a video doorbell stolen can potentially lead to another robbery, though it seems most perpetrators are just interested in reselling the device online. Losing your video doorbell to a thief is an inconvenience at the very least, and a scary situation to have happen. Luckily, video doorbell manufacturers have policies in place to help you prevent your device from getting stolen, as well as protocol in place to assist you if your video doorbell gets stolen despite those prevention tactics.
So, how do you prevent thieves from stealing your video doorbell? Let’s find out!
Video Doorbell Uses
A video doorbell is a device that works like a regular doorbell, except that it connects to the Wi-Fi in your home as well as any other security systems you have in place. In general, you can access the video doorbell from your smart device to see who and what is at your door, communicate with that person, and lock and unlock your door as needed.
Manufactured by companies like Ring and Nest—as well as other home security companies that utilize video doorbells—there are tons of options out there to fit your needs. Though consumers may have different reasons for purchasing a video doorbell, there are several uses that may influence this decision:
- Talk to anyone who may be at your door live.
- See when packages are left at your door, and unlock your door to let the delivery person in to leave the package inside. Then, lock the door again behind them.
- Communicate with your children when they come home from school or activities.
- Protect your children in case someone comes to your door when they are home alone.
- Sleep soundly at night knowing you’ll be alerted if someone strange is at your door.
- Deter thieves from breaking into your home.
How to Prevent Thieves from Stealing Video Doorbells
There are several reasons why a thief may be interested in stealing your video doorbell. Though we can’t know exactly what someone’s motive is, they could be doing it to resell, because they see you receiving packages often that they want to take, or they may think that by removing the video doorbell, they could have easier access to your home. Therefore, it’s likely that their reason for stealing your video doorbell is to simply make some money off of it.
That being said, knowing that someone could steal your video doorbell is not a good feeling. Luckily, there are ways to prevent it and most video doorbell companies have protocols in place to protect you.
According to Ring's Chief Neighbor Experience Officer, Jon Irwin, “Ring Video Doorbells are built with privacy and security features to ensure customers have peace of mind whether they are home or away. With features like customizable motion zones, you’ll receive a notification from your Ring app as soon as motion is detected. And, all of our Video Doorbells come with two-way talk, so neighbors can quickly communicate with any expected, or unexpected visitors. We also encourage customers to ensure their Ring device is visible, so guests know they are being captured on video. In all Ring device packages, you’ll find free Ring stickers to put on your door or windows so that all visitors will know that your home is protected by a Ring device that captures both video and audio.”
Additionally, Irwin had some other tips to prevent thieves from stealing your video doorbell:
- For an added layer of security, Ring offers Tamper Proof covers for select video doorbell models. The Tamper-Proof Cover uses a unique locking mechanism to prevent strangers from stealing your device.
- Ring devices are designed with security screws to mount them to the home, making them difficult to remove without proper tools.
- With Linked Devices, available across all Ring products, including Video Doorbells, users can link their doorbell to compatible Ring Security Cams or Smart Lighting to create an integrated, whole-home security system. This way, as soon as motion is detected at your front door, users can trigger their Ring Security Cams to begin recording, or their Ring Smart Lights to turn on, adding another layer of security.
- Ring offers customers a Theft Protection program that helps customers receive a free replacement of their Ring device as quickly as possible in the event it’s been stolen.
Ring is just one of the popular video doorbell manufacturers out there. So, be sure to ask what theft protection policies a company has in place before committing to one.
What To Do if Your Video Doorbell is Stolen
Unfortunately, skilled thieves can still find ways to steal a video doorbell even with extra theft protection in place. If this happens, it may be tempting to find out who did it right away, but there’s a certain protocol you should follow. This will not only help you possibly recover your device, but also help catch the thief so that they don’t do the same to others.
1) Contact your local police department and inform them of the crime.
2) Access your video doorbell app to see if you can get images of the perpetrator.
3) Share those images, if you have them, with the police officers handling your case.
4) Contact your video doorbell (and home security provider if applicable) to inform them of the theft.
Tip: When you order your video doorbell device, write down the serial number. This can help you track your device if the thief decides to sell it.
The Bottom Line
- Video doorbells are a great security feature to add to your home.
- Video doorbell theft is on the rise, even though the device can catch an image of the thief.
- Most thieves steal video doorbells to sell them for a profit.
- Thankfully, there are ways to prevent thieves from stealing video doorbells, and your device manufacturer should work with you to prevent theft, and if theft occurs, they should work with you to replace the device.
Photo by Matt McClain/The Washington Post via Getty Images