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Can a Ring Doorbell Be Stolen?


A Ring Doorbell is a popular gadget among homeowners looking to increase safety and security measures around their homes.

The all-singing, all-dancing smart doorbell has a built-in camera with microphones and motion detectors that will notify you via the Ring app about any visitors to your home, deliveries at your door, or unwanted disturbances around your property.

A common question people often have, though, is whether or not a Ring Doorbell can be stolen, and that’s what we’ll be answering in this article.

It is possible to steal a Ring Doorbell. Their demand, price tag, and prominent position on the front of a home make them an attractive proposition for thieves. Without an anti-theft mount, they can be stolen by unscrewing several screws and ripping out the wiring.

While you’d think that the threat of being recorded on camera would deter thieves from swiping a video operated doorbell, you’d be surprised that it does happen every so often.

Read on to find out how you can prevent the theft of a Ring Doorbell in the first place, what to do if you find yourself the victim of such a crime, and how you can claim your free replacement from Ring.

Can a Ring Doorbell Be Stolen?

Like a regular doorbell, the Ring Doorbell can be mounted to a wall with four screws, so technically, it would be possible for someone to come along and steal it by unscrewing it and ripping out the wiring.

You can see the mounting configuration below:

an image showing the mounting screws on a ring doorbell

©adrianhancu/123RF.COM

You can, however, also install a Ring Doorbell using adhesive fixings (for example, by using Ring’s ‘No-Drill’ mount), which would be considerably easier to steal versus a doorbell that you’ve screwed in place.

That being said, one of the great things about a Ring Doorbell is that it starts recording as soon as motion or sound is detected outside your front door. You can also choose to receive a notification to your phone or tablet via the Ring app, which is handy for keeping you informed about any would-be thieves or unwanted visitors.

Another handy feature is the Ring doorbell’s ability to see in the dark thanks to its night vision mode, and this means that it’ll still be able to record and provide a live notification even if someone tries to steal it in the cover of darkness.

Should you fail to receive the notification, however, for example, if you’re in such a deep sleep that you don’t hear it, or your phone is in flight mode, all is not lost even if your Ring Doorbell does end up stolen.

The device will upload a one-minute video clip every time it detects motion outside your house, so, with any luck, you should have some footage of the perpetrator to send to the police to help with identification if you report the crime.

These videos are recorded and uploaded in real-time, so whilst a thief may think that if they rip out the Ring Doorbell as quickly as possible to avoid the camera capturing it, they’d be mistaken. The video is streamed to Ring’s servers as it records, so you should be able to get a good look at the crime and perpetrator before the footage cuts out.

You may also be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of any suspicious cars or vans and their license plates to assist the police with their investigation.


What Do You Do if Someone Steals Your Ring Doorbell?

As soon as you discover that your Ring Doorbell is missing, you should phone the police to report it stolen.

There’s a chance that the perpetrators could still be in the area targeting other houses, so it’s a good idea to make the police aware.

Take photographs of the damage for evidence, but make sure you’re careful not to disturb anything needed for proof. For example, don’t step on any footprints left by the burglars or touch anything that may have fingerprints on it.

You can also log in to the Ring app to see if the doorbell’s camera captured any images of the thief’s face before being stolen. Take screenshots to share with the police officer dealing with your case.

It’s also important to remember to ask for a copy of the police report, as you’ll need this to send to Ring when submitting your case for a replacement doorbell.

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When you first purchase your Ring device, remember to make a note of the serial number.

If you’re unfortunate enough to be the victim of a Ring Doorbell robbery, you may be able to track it down if they decide to sell it on. In most cases, thieves steal Ring devices intending to sell them for a profit, so you’ll have a better chance of finding out where it’s gone if you know the serial number.


Can a Stolen Ring Doorbell Be Used?

Unfortunately, there are loopholes within Ring’s technical support guidelines which allow a thief to reset a stolen Ring Doorbell and re-register it to a new account.

The good news is that the thief will not be able to access your private information or video footage from the Ring device itself, as this is all stored within your private account.

However, what the thief could do is deactivate the device from your account and set it up with a new one so someone else can go ahead and use it as if it’s their own.

To avoid this happening, you must report the theft to Ring technical support as soon as possible so they can disable the device before whoever stole it can.

To do this, Ring technical support will log your device’s MAC code within their database, preventing the thief from re-registering the doorbell to a new account and making it effectively useless for re-sale.

How to Find Your Ring Doorbell’s MAC Code

To find your MAC code, open the Ring app and select the device which has been stolen from the list. 

Tap on Device Health, and the MAC Address will be listed under Device Details.


Does Ring Replace a Doorbell if It’s Stolen?

If you’re unlucky enough to have your Ring Doorbell stolen, the good news is that Ring will replace it for free.

Ring’s theft policy states that you need to provide proof that the device has been stolen, which means providing photographic evidence and sending them a copy of the police report.

As soon as you discover your device is missing, the first step is to call the police and report it.

While you’re waiting on the police progressing your case, take some photos that will clearly show Ring that your doorbell has been stolen, being careful not to interfere with any evidence such as footprints or fingerprints.

You’ll then need to request a copy of the police report, which you need to forward to Ring along with the photographic evidence for verification.

Once received, Ring will then be able to send you a replacement device free of charge, which usually takes around two weeks from when the police report and photographs are verified.

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You only have 15 days to report the theft of your doorbell to Ring.

If you report it too late, you won’t be able to make a case and apply for a replacement device.

It’s also worth noting that the replacement you receive will be the same model as your original one; Ring does not offer free upgrades on theft replacements.


How Do I Stop My Ring Doorbell From Being Stolen?

Having access to live video footage of who is at your front door 24-hours a day has its perks, and so it’s no surprise that Ring Doorbells are so popular.

It’s not all positive, though, as the combination of demand for these smart devices, their often $200+ price tag, and the fact that they sit in plain sight right outside your front door can make them very attractive to thieves.

Being clued up about what to do if you ever fall victim to a Ring Doorbell robbery is all well and good, but it’s worth spending some time figuring out how to prevent theft in the first place to minimize potential headaches and inconvenience later on.

Here are some tips and tricks to help minimize the risk of your Ring Doorbell being stolen:

  • Purchase a theft protection cover box – For around $20, you can purchase an anti-theft mount bracket that will keep it tightly secured to the wall or door frame.
  • Install additional security cameras in hard-to-reach and hidden locations – Extra security cameras will either deter thieves from targeting your house because there is a higher chance of getting caught, or they will be more likely to identify the perpetrator in action, so you have a higher chance of finding out who the guilty person it.
  • Install Ring’s Neighbors app – This free app will help you stay clued up on crime and suspicious activity within your local community.

Can a Ring Doorbell Be Hacked?

Being able to see who’s at your front door from wherever you are in the world is very handy, but — like most tech devices — there are some risks involved.

It’s not just the thieves in your local neighbourhood you have to worry about because Ring devices are also susceptible to online hackers. There have been several reports over the past few years about Ring Doorbell owners falling victim to hackers.

can a ring doorbell be hacked toolcrowd article image

©spyarm/123RF.COM

What Could Happen if My Ring Doorbell Gets Hacked?

In some cases, you may not even realize that a hacker has infiltrated your network because they discreetly gone in, taken some of your data or information, and then snuck out again.

In other cases, they could hack your entire network via your Ring Doorbell and infiltrate all the devices within your home.

A serious concern would be a hacker’s ability to gain control of your Ring device, access your recordings and live camera feeds, and be able to watch your house. They would be able to learn your routine by watching when you leave and return home, increasing their ability to break in and perform a robbery without being disturbed.

If you think about all the devices you have connected to your WiFi network – laptops, computers, tablets, smart TVs, smartphones – these will all be at risk if hackers manage to gain access to your network via your Ring Doorbell.

Because of this, it’s essential to make sure that your Ring device isn’t a potential area of weakness in your online security’s armor.

How to Prevent Anyone From Hacking Into Your Ring Doorbell Account

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Ring Doorbells with a weaker password have a greater chance of being hacked, and so setting a strong password is the first step you need to take in improving your online security.

Many doorbells come with a default password of 000000 or 123456, so make sure you change it to a unique password immediately following installation.

Updating your passwords every couple of months is also a great way to keep on top of your online security. There are plenty of password vault apps available that will safely keep track of all your passwords associated with your various online accounts.

Also, it should go without saying, but don’t share your passwords with anyone else. You can add another person, such as a spouse, teenager, or roommate, by including them as a shared user within your Ring account, which should prevent the need for this while still giving them access to videos, live footage, and your doorbell’s intercom system.

Ring regularly issues software updates to all of their devices, so it’s critical to ensure these are installed successfully to keep up-to-date with any security upgrades. Not updating your Ring Doorbell’s software can make your device and network as a whole easier to breach should a hacker attempt to target your device.

A decent firewall for your network and antivirus software is also an excellent way to prevent unauthorized access from online hackers and protect your network from other threats.


In Summary

Unfortunately, the combined demand for video doorbells, their often $200+ price tag, and the fact that passers-by can easily spot them make them an attractive target for thieves.

In most cases, however, the potential for being caught on video and the risk of a live notification to the owner’s device being escalated to the police is deterrent enough.

Thankfully, if your doorbell does fall prey to an opportunistic thief, Ring has an excellent theft policy, and they will replace your stolen device for free once the theft is verified.

To save any headaches, though, we recommend that you follow the handy tips and advice above, including securely installing your Ring Doorbell with an anti-theft wall mount to minimize the risk of theft.

It’s also worth remembering that local thieves aren’t your only concern when it comes to tech devices. Hackers from all over the world are constantly attempting to ‘break in’ to WiFi networks to steal private and confidential information, so remember to follow the steps above to secure your Ring Doorbell and prevent unauthorized access to your network.

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