Now that home security cameras are affordable, wireless, and available from an array of brands, they’re becoming pretty common—and they are capturing some pretty crazy stuff. It turns out that all sorts of ridiculous stuff can happen around the home entrance when you aren’t looking. Not only is this amusing (and sometimes scary), it also gives you another reason to consider installing a smart cam of your own. You might be missing out on footage like this. Here’s a roundup of some of our favorite incidents captured by security cameras.
Man gets caught licking a stranger’s doorbell for hours
In a story so strange we’ve made special note of it before, this man—identified as 33-year-old Roberto Daniel Arroyo—was caught on a Ring security camera licking the doorbell of this house for around three hours. Yep, three hours. The family living in the house had no idea who he was, but police were very interested in finding out. The man also stole some extension cords and apparently urinated in their yard, but it’s really the doorbell licking thing that stands out, isn’t it?
Animals love video doorbells
You may not be surprised to learn that these security cams capture all kinds of random activity from animals (we’ll get to some others very soon). However, video doorbells in particular seem to attract lots of animals, and no one is sure why. However, while birds, deer, bears and other animals all tend to give these doorbells a lot of scrutiny, not many actually ring the doorbell. That honor goes to this curious little dog, who probably always gets inside when he wants to.
A bear just wants to play the piano
Why would a bear break into a home? Maybe it smelled some food? Maybe it was looking for a place to get out of the rain? Well, in this particular case, home security cams caught this black bear with an entirely different plan afoot: He wants to play the piano. No, we have no idea why this is such an attractive idea to a bear, but apparently he was a very cultured creature. Oh, and it was a vacation home, so the owners were never in any danger.
Raccoons get together for a pool party
When you set up a video security system for your home, you probably don’t expect to see a family of raccoons cannonballing into your pool. But that’s exactly what this Texas family saw when they reviewed their camera footage. Raccoons, of course, love the water and have no problem interacting with it, but it’s pretty weird to see them playing in a pool like normal people.
Oh, and a note for pool owners: You really don’t want raccoons in your pool water, or any water for that matter. You should also never leave your pool uncovered overnight like this—these incidents are actually easy to avoid.
Woman breaks her leg trying to steal a package
These particular thieves are called “porch pirates” and they look for packages left at homes by delivery services, which they can quickly steal. It’s an especially common problem around the holidays, but it doesn’t always work out, as this woman discovered. After trying to nonchalantly steal a package, she almost immediately trips during her getaway and breaks her leg. Of course, since you can’t always count on karma, it’s nice to a security cam around with footage that you can show to the police.
A riding lawnmower goes on a joyride of its own
Here we see an ordinary homeowner mowing the backyard in a riding lawnmower. He stops the mower and gets out to go attend to something. Incredibly, at around this same time, a soccer ball flies in and hits the mower, causing it to turn on again and run rampant around the yard. Could this really happen, or is the video faked? Well, it’s hard to believe someone would wreck a swing set and a flower garden for a fake video, but who knows?
A toddler sprays the inattentive nanny
Nest has a number of these cam videos that it collects and even allows people to enter into the “Nesties” security cam footage awards. This one is ridiculous and entirely authentic. You can see the moment the nanny stops paying attention, the moment the toddler decides to grab the hose, and everything that ensues. Special marks are given to the final moments, where the spiraling water even manages to hit the Nest cam.
A tornado passes by this helpless house
This footage is from Sunnyvale, Texas, where a tornado touched down and swept past this home with an indoor security camera. Don’t worry, the home stays more or less intact. Otherwise, this Nest footage would probably have been different to find. But the house does get bumped and bruised, and that door flying inward like a leaf in a storm is very impressive. Security cams: Also nice for home insurance claims!
Two guys try to kick in a door
It’s amazing how many home cams have captured a pair of guys trying to kick in a door. It happens a lot, all around the country, with all different types of thieves. Apparently a lot of burglars just aren’t into being sneaky. They also have trouble noticing security cams, which have been successfully used to chase them away before they can successfully kick down the door (front doors are actually really hard to kick down, even when there are two people).
A bear steals Christmas presents
Okay, porch pirates are one problem, but this is taking things to an entirely new level. The security footage clearly shows that the culprit is a nearby bear who has stumbled on to a new way to make a living. It walks up to the door, inspects the package and its surroundings, then takes a bite of the Christmas decorations for good measure. When convinced its safe, the bear swipes the package and quickly makes its getaway. Is the bear just taking its chances, or did it smell some holiday treats in that box? Either way, sometimes the thieves aren’t human!
Woman tries to steal cat
We know that thefts may appear worryingly common on this list, but this one is especially ridiculous. Here a random woman walks up to a happy cat lounging on a porch and tries to grab it. At first the woman succeeds, and her goal is obviously to steal a cat, because she has a car pull up to wait for her to jump inside, cat in hand. Fortunately, opening a car door and holding onto an angry cat are not the easiest things in the world, and the cat makes a successful escape back through the yard. Kidnapping cats from porches: Apparently it’s not just an urban myth!
Massive fire engulfs the neighbor’s house
One of the more famous Ring doorbell videos, this camera caught footage of the neighboring house catching fire through what looks like a chimney fire or some kind of similar event. Firemen frequently warn people that fires can spread far faster than you might imagine, and while the video does appear to be edited you can still see how quickly a real fire can spread, and just how much damage it can do. The Ring owners credit it with saving their lives, although there’s probably not a specific app notification for “raging house fire next door.”
A T-Rex enters the house
Time for a more light-hearted cam capture. Here’s someone in a giant T-Rex costume walking into a home, another Nestie award. The door is open, so the T-Rex is clearly expected, but the costume is just a little too large to properly fit through. The result is an easy laugh—this is also a great place to put your security cam if you have a larger porch!
A fireworks display lights the deck on fire
This particularly Nestie showcases a man setting off fireworks on his deck fencing while several others watch. No one is thinking very clearly about this: There’s a massive amount of sparks and light that scorch everything around them. Nonetheless, the group seems shocked when the wooden fence catches on fire after the display is over. Fortunately, it looks like they manage to put the fire out before it could, you know, consume the entire house.
Cat fights off coyote
This is another type of video that’s surprisingly common among front porch cams: Coyotes will routinely go up and try to nab cats as a tasty treat. The good news is that, as this video and many other show, adult cats are not easy targets, and a few bats on the nose are enough to make coyotes give up and look for an easier meal. Nonetheless, we remain surprised at just how much cats have to deal with when sleeping on their porches!