People are stealing Ring doorbells (and it’s no knock-knock joke)

A rash of ironic Ring Video Doorbell thefts in a Denver neighborhood raises questions about how much security the smart home devices actually provide. Fortunately, the homeowner and the Denver police have a video of the theft in progress recorded and streamed by the stolen device, The Denver Channel reports.

According to Andrienne Bursey, the victim of the recorded theft, her Ring doorbell was stolen about 4 a.m. After taking Bursey’s Ring doorbell, the thief proceeded to steal Ring devices from other homes in her Congress Park neighborhood.

The theft only took about 15 seconds. “He knew that he was going to be on film and he didn’t care,” Bursey said.

“I don’t know if they’re doing it to sell them online or if they’re doing it to steal packages in the future,” Bursey continued. “We also know it’s not enough to have the Ring, so we have other security measures in place, too.”

The Denver police have received 20 stolen doorbell reports this year, according to The Denver Channel.

Ring Video Doorbells attach to a mounting plate via tamperproof screws. Unless a thief has the proper tools, removing the doorbell is very difficult and would likely ruin the case.

“It’s rare that Ring Doorbells are stolen given that they have proprietary screws that secure them to the home, and, most importantly, the owner will have a recording of the thief as he/she’s stealing the doorbell,” A Ring spokesperson told Digital Trends. “As long as the user has cloud recording set up, they can share the recording of the theft with the police to try to catch the suspect and recover the doorbell. Ring does offer Theft 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.”

Owners should report thefts to Ring no later than six months after the police report concerning the theft. Ring will replace the stolen device with the same model. You can find out more on Ring’s website here.

Here are the specific steps to take in the event a thief steals your Ring device:

  • Report the theft to the police immediately upon learning about or noticing it. Follow police instructions. If you notice the device has been stolen when you return to your home, don’t go in the house to make the call but call from a smartphone or a neighbor’s home.
  • Take photos of the damage but don’t touch or remove anything from the area where the device was stolen.
  • As soon as possible ask for a copy 0f the police report to send to Ring.
  • Scan or take a photo of the police report and send the image and report the theft to Ring via email at theft@ring.com.

According to Ring’s support website, Ring will send a replacement device at no charge in seven to 10 days after verifying the police report.

Updated December 12, 2018 at 12:45 p.m. with a comment from a Ring spokesperson.

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