Whether you are curious or if you are the proud owner of a video doorbell from Ring, Nest, Netamo or other manufactures you know they can be quite expensive purchases. You want to make sure that you protect it and enjoy all the advantages that a video doorbell can give you.
So, can video doorbells be stolen? The simple answer is yes. Like most things, if someone is really determined it is possible to steal a video doorbell. The key thing is to make it as difficult as possible for a thief to steal.
We’re going to take a look at what you need to do if your video doorbell is stolen and how to protect it the best you can in the rest of this post.
Why steal a video doorbell?
It’s a good question. Video doorbells aren’t the most obvious things in the world to steal.
There are a couple of main reasons they get taken:
- to sell for money which is then used to pay for something;
- to make sure it’s not there to record them if the thief is planning on coming back later to target your car or property.
Tips on how to make them harder to steal
Unfortunately, It’s very hard to stop your doorbell being stolen but the tips below should make it that little bit harder.
Most video doorbells come with special ant-theft security screws that need a special tool. Make sure to use these and check that it is attached properly. Read our guide on how to install a video doorbell.
Ring doorbell arrives with signs to display near your doorbell. The signs show that the house is protected by video surveillance. Displaying them will act as a deterrent and make the thief move on somewhere else indirectly protecting your home.
Use a hard case or tamperproof cover
If you have a Ring doorbell you can look to use a tamperproof cover like this one. It goes over the top of your device and locked with a key or even with your own padlock. to or anti theft grid box that will make it that little bit harder to steal.
Register your device and record serial number
It’s good practice to keep a note of the serial number of your device. It might not seem like much but it can be useful if your doorbells does get stolen. Passing it on to the police or manufacturer will help them identify your doorbell if it turns up in third party marketplaces or on their networks.
It’s always a good idea to register your devices so that you can enjoy warranties, support and other benefits.
For the Ring and Nest Hello video doorbells you will also need to associate them with the relevant app. Each doorbell has a QR code which contains information about the device. Scan the QR code as part of the installation process and that device then becomes associated with your account.
The advantage is that should your doorbell be stolen you can do things in your account to stop it being used.
Set up two factor authentication and strong passwords
Video doorbells come with companion apps that allow you to change settings, view live streams and more if you bought one of the manufacturers subscription packages.
As well as protecting the physical device it’s important that you protect the link between the doorbell and the app. It’s not unknown for video doorbells to be hacked allowing access to your account and videos.
There have been several high profile incidents over the years. The resulting bad publicity has made manufacturers add a greater range of security features into their products.
Two Factor Authentication (2FA) or 2-Step Verification s one of these. When turned on you will no longer be able to sign in using just your username and password.
There will be a second layer where you are asked for something else, normally a code. The code usually gets sent to you via text, a call or in another app. You enter the code to get access to the app. So you don’t have to enter the code every time you can set things up to trust your device. If you do, only attempts to access your device from other accounts will be asked for the code.
As with all connected devices it is recommended that you have a strong password.
Set up intelligent alerts
Some video doorbells allow to set up alerts that get set to your phone when certain activities of interest happen. Look through your setting and see if there are any you can set that would be useful if the doorbell was stolen.
What you can set depends on the model and whether you have a subscription package. The Nest Hello, for example has an alert that will send a notification if your camera loses its wifi connection for several minutes.
Set up recordings
Out of the box, video doorbells from Ring and Nest don’t offer the ability to make recordings. To get this you need to sign up up to their subscription packages which then save recordings to the cloud.
Or, there are several video doorbells that work without subscriptions or use local storage if you still want to record but are not keen on the subscription model.
Whichever way you go setting up recordings won’t stop your doorbell getting stole but it can be of great use to law enforcement and understanding the doorbell theft itself. Also, the thief may not realise that their actions are still being recorded as they walk away with their ill gotten gains.
If you save your video to the cloud or an SD card in a base station you should be able to at least get a recording of what happened before the doorbell was stolen and then also afterwards. Or, at least for as long as the video doorbell was in range of Wi-fi or the base station. Useful information, when you need to report your doorbell stolen.
What to do if your video doorbell is stolen?
Ring the police
This step should come before anything else. Call the police and file a crime report. You never know, footage from your doorbell may help them link together other crimes or identify the person who has taken it.
It will also help as you will probably need a police report when you get in touch with the video doorbell manufactures.
Take pictures of the damage
You should not touch anything before the police arrive and do this from a distance so you do not disturb the crime scene. The photos will be useful to show what happened
Report it to the video doorbell manufacturer
Follow this if your Nest doorbell is stolen or this if your Ring doorbell is stolen or this process for Arlo.
They will go through your details and tell you what to do. Ring for example may replace your doorbell. Other manufacturers have similar processes in place.