Can a Ring Doorbell Be Stolen Before Capturing Video?


Security cameras are all around nowadays, including outside many homes. But what would happen if someone were to try to take your doorbell camera? Would you be able to see them do it? For anyone who is a customer of Ring, these are important questions to ask.

Can a Ring Doorbell be stolen before capturing video? While the Ring doorbell is being taken, it will be recording everything, including the thief. Ring owners will be able to tell if their doorbell is being stolen, and with recorded evidence, Ring will replace the stolen doorbell.

You can rest assured that your doorbell won’t be stolen without a recording. But there are a few more questions you might be wondering now. How were they able to even steal these doorbells in the first place, and what made them do it? Well, keep reading to find out!

“Smile, you’re on camera!”

One of the great things about the Ring Video Doorbell is that not a lot of people realize that there’s a camera in the device. Potential thieves won’t know that you could be watching them from the safety of your phone screen.

There have been several instances where thieves have seen the cameras and been scared away. There was one instance in Dallas, Texas when a woman looked at her feed after it was set off, and saw two young men standing on her porch.

As she continued to watch, one of the guys realized that there was a camera and they retreated quickly to their car and drove away. Less than a minute later, they returned and tried to kick her door in. She used the microphone to speak to them and tell them that the police were on the way. This quickly scared them back to their car!

There have also been instances where the motion of someone taking a package was detected by the doorbell. People have been able to use the intercom to let people know that they are aware of what they are doing, and will let the police know. It’s a great system and can be useful for preventing theft.

Since the invention of video doorbells and other home security systems that allow you to check the feeds when you’re away from home, there have been fewer break-ins around communities because prowlers are starting to notice these new installments.

This is definitely a benefit to society, but it’s also something that can intrigue burglars as well. They can be enticed by the idea of getting a video camera to sell somewhere online.

But the thing about this is that this isn’t an easy thing to just yank off the wall. Ring has put some serious thought into the design of their doorbells in the hope that it would deter robbers. And for the most part, it does a pretty good job of providing security and being hard to steal.

The System of the Ring Doorbell

Ring has taken into consideration that there could be some factors that can remove or damage doorbells. Whether it be thieves, bad weather, or something else, they’ve got your back! Ring doorbells come with a backplate installed to help them stick onto the house in rough conditions.

There are also security screws that go in the bottom of the doorbell. This element is designed to deter theft and keep your doorbell mounted. Without the security screw, it can be pretty easy to just slide off the bell and take it.

The entire doorbell system is wireless, which means that there is a rechargeable battery that can pop in and out of the doorbell. This wireless setup allows you to charge one battery, and replace it with another.

With the Ring Doorbell 2, there’s a different system when it comes to battery charging, so you don’t really have to worry about such things. Usually, the charge for these batteries can last for a good amount of time without needing a replacement.

If a thief was extremely determined and didn’t care about damage to the device, they might be able to break the Ring off the backplate. But for the most part, the strong design of the doorbell will deter any potential prowlers. It’s meant to stand up to forceful removal.

Theft Policy at Ring

The great thing about the Ring company is that they have a policy to cover the possibility of theft. If an owner’s device being stolen or forcibly broken, they will replace it for free. But this is only after you have reported it to the police. These are the steps you need to take in order to receive your new doorbell:

  • Immediately report the theft to the police. Before you do anything else regarding your stolen Ring device, you should report the theft to the police. Follow their instructions regarding what to do until an officer arrives to take your report. They may tell you not to enter your home just in case the theft of the Ring is part of a larger break-in.
  • Take pictures of the damage but do not touch the scene before the police arrive. Do not remove or touch any damaged components that remain behind or disturb the ground around the location. By doing this you may disturb potential evidence such as finger or shoe prints. There’s also a chance you could cut yourself on broken equipment.
  • Request a copy of the theft report as soon as possible. You will need the police report in order for Ring to provide you with a free replacement device. 
  • Once you acquire a police report, report the theft to Ring by using the email address Theft@Ring.com. Note that all communications from Ring regarding a reported theft will emanate from this email address. You will need to provide a copy of the police report to begin the free replacement process.

As you have done these steps, Ring will verify the police report, and you will get your replacement in 7-10 days.

I think that this policy really shows the integrity of the Ring company. They are willing to replace your product for as long as you have it, but they also take precautions to make sure they won’t be scammed for replacements.

The fact that this company has the community’s safety in mind is something that I really respect. To be able to trust that this company would be behind you if there was an issue or your doorbell was stolen.

Having people that are willing to monitor and then call your two numbers, including the police if necessary, all to keep your property and possessions safe, is a good sign.

In fact, a Ring representative said the following:

“It’s rare that Ring Doorbells are stolen given that they have special screws that secure them to the home, but most importantly that the owner will have a recording of the thief as he’s stealing the Doorbell. As long as the user has cloud recording set up (most Ring users do), they can share the recording of the theft with the police to try to catch the suspect and recover the Doorbell. Ring does offer lifetime purchase protection, so if a user’s Doorbell is stolen, they can present the police report to Ring and Ring will replace the device for free.”

What Happens to the Doorbell Thief?

One thing that a lot of thieves might not expect is the fact that the camera will continue to record for a little bit after it is taken from the wall. They might expect it to record the theft itself, but not the aftermath.

With this added footage on your side, you’ll be able to log onto your phone and provide video evidence to the police when you report the theft. With the clear picture that these cameras have, there’s even a possibility that the thief’s identity could be revealed.

One of the main benefits of having this camera is the fact that you’re able to monitor the activity that goes on around your home. Even when someone takes that doorbell away, you’ll still be able to see them and help prevent future crimes in your neighborhood.

There is a benefit of having Ring, because you have access to a thing called the Neighborhood, and through this you can receive updates from your law enforcement. That way, you’ll be informed if there’s any progress in identifying the person that stole your doorbell.

Tips on how to ensure doorbell safety

Now, I’m going to share with you some tips on how to ensure that your doorbell is safe. Taking these precautions will make your doorbell less appealing to those that want to take it:

Purchase Insurance

One thing that wouldn’t be a bad idea is to get insurance for your doorbell. It may seem silly, but you can never be too careful! Insurance will help you in the event of a property-damaging theft.

Even though Ring will replace your doorbell for free, there’s still a possibility that the theft of the device would cause damage to your home. Purchasing insurance gives you a good backup plan for the worst case scenarios.

Back-Up Data on the Cloud or an External Hard Drive

Backing up is something that you should be doing even if there’s nothing that’s happening around your neighborhood or camera. This is a good habit to fall into. In case something does happen around your home, you’ll have recorded evidence to prove your point.

Be sure that you’re updating the back-up at least every two or three weeks. It won’t do you much good if your device was stolen, and you haven’t had anything updated since last month.

It’s even worse when your device is taken, and you haven’t taken the chance to even try to back up any information during the whole time you owned it.

Update your System

This is important because if you haven’t updated your system, you could end up still having bugs in your system that have been fixed with the update. Unresolved software issues could leave your system more vulnerable than before.

Usually, with Ring, they can automatically update. This feature can be a huge blessing if you’re not a tech-savvy person and don’t know where to go or what to do to update your system.

Ring is good at updating and keeping you secure, so this isn’t the main concern when you’re worried about your doorbell.

Increase your Security at Your Network Account

There can be different parts of the doorbell that can be taken. If thieves don’t decide to take the whole package of it, they might decide to hack it instead. This will make it easier for them to interfere with the camera in the future.

Knowing the risks of this practice, it’s important for you to change your passwords to something stronger, run daily security checks, and even have email alerts if someone is trying to access your account.

From all these tips, you should be able to at least feel a little more secure about what you can personally do when it comes to your doorbell and being able to prevent theft.

What Else can you do when your Doorbell has been Stolen?

One of the things that you can do when your doorbell is stolen is to make use of the Neighborhood app that should be attached with your Ring doorbell app.

This is a way to keep those around you in the loop, because thieves rarely come to just one house. Most of the time, they’ll want to go around the neighborhood and see what they can get.

With this app, you’re able to communicate with others who are around you with the Ring. This new version of a ‘neighborhood watch’ allows you to work, not only with your neighbors, but with the people at Ring and your local police as well.

You’re able to receive updates from the Ring team, as well as the local law if there are things that are going on with the suspect. You’ll also be informed on whether or not they have apprehended them, or if they are still searching.

This is something that really helps connect a community to each other. You want to be able to know that those around you are watching out, not only for themselves, but the community as well.

Related Questions

Can the Ring video doorbell be hacked? Ring doorbells can be hacked if the attackers have the correct tools and understanding of the device. Hacking can be used to shut off or take over the Ring. However, owners can take steps to prevent this by updating the software regularly and maintaining strong passwords and security.

How long do the batteries in these devices last? When you’re going through and first setting up your Ring device, you’ll have to charge up the battery. After their initial charge, these batteries can last from six months to a year. But the maximum capacity of the battery life is going to depend on whether or not your doorbell gets a lot of use.

Do you have to charge the Ring doorbell? If you have your Ring doorbell hooked into your old doorbell, it should be able to hook into the electrical wiring and operate without batteries. If you keep this setup wireless though, you will need to charge the batteries at least every 6 months.

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