Ring doorbells are a popular home security device that allows you to see and speak with visitors at your door through your smartphone. However, these devices have also become a target for thieves looking to steal them. Protecting your Ring doorbell takes some thoughtful preparation and smart prevention methods.
Follow these tips to deter theft and keep your Ring video doorbell securely in place while monitoring your home.
1.Choose a Strategic Location
One of the easiest ways to deter potential thieves is to install your Ring doorbell in a less obvious location. The common spot above or near the door makes it an easy target. Instead, consider placing it off to the side, higher up, or even around the corner of your home. This will make it less noticeable to anyone passing by. Just be sure it’s still placed strategically to capture motion at your door.
Think about sight lines from windows and other approaches to your home. Make sure the camera has a wide field of view—test motion detection from various angles to avoid blind spots a thief could use to prevent recording. The idea is to hide the doorbell in plain sight – easy for you to monitor but harder for a criminal to spot.
2.Use the Included Security Screws Correctly
Ring doorbells come with special security screws that require a unique head to unscrew them. These are meant to prevent easy removal with a standard screwdriver. Make sure to use these screws properly when installing your device. The specialized screws are key. Don’t use typical everyday screws in place of the security screws.
You can apply a thread lock product such as Loctite to the screws to make them even more theft-resistant. The thread-locking adhesive fills gaps in the threads to create a stronger hold and prevent the screws from vibrating loose over time. Just be sure not to apply too much, or you may have trouble removing the screws when needed.
3.Add Visible Deterrents
Visible security devices serve as a warning to potential thieves that your property is monitored. Consider placing a dummy camera or a real security camera prominently overlooking your Ring doorbell. Even if the camera is fake, having what looks like visual evidence can help deter thieves from targeting your doorbell.
For real cameras, position them high enough that they can’t easily be tampered with or disabled. Fake cameras should also be installed out of easy reach. Get models that require wiring or screw mounts for the most realistic effect.
Placing a warning sign near your Ring doorbell is another easy visible deterrent. You can buy pre-made stickers or signs that warn potential intruders the area is under surveillance. Even if you don’t have full security cameras, this may make thieves think twice before stealing your doorbell. Especially if the camera is hidden from view, visible warnings suggest it’s there.
4.Register and Insure Your Device
Register your Ring doorbell through the Ring app and tie it to your account. This associates your specific device with you. You can mark your doorbell as missing in the app if it gets stolen. Ring has a feature where if the stolen device comes online at a new location, it will notify authorities of its whereabouts. This makes stealing a registered device much less beneficial for thieves.
You can also add your Ring doorbell to your homeowner or renter’s insurance policy. Provide your insurer with the receipt showing the device value. Having theft coverage gives you peace of mind if your doorbell gets swiped. Just add it as a scheduled item so you have proof of value.
5.Fortify the Mounting
Follow the Ring installation instructions carefully to mount your doorbell securely. Don’t take shortcuts that could make your doorbell loose and easier to steal. Use all the included equipment and hardware. The harder it is to remove your doorbell physically, the less likely a thief will target it.
Consider reinforcing the mount with additional screws anchored into a stud. For masonry surfaces, use the proper masonry anchors included in the box. You can even add metal brackets or an anchor block for additional support. Just don’t obstruct the motion sensor or camera field of view. The goal is to make the doorbell one solid unit with a wall or surface.
6.Fine Tune Motion Settings
In the Ring app, you can adjust motion detection settings to reduce the chances of false alerts while still catching true threats. The motion zones should cover areas where a thief may approach or reach to grab your doorbell. High motion sensitivity can catch subtle theft attempts.
Advanced settings allow you to set a higher motion “threshold,” only sending alerts when significant movement is detected. You can also lengthen motion recording times. This way, if a thief does manage to steal your doorbell, you have extended footage of the incident to provide to authorities.
Get notifications anytime unexpected motion triggers the recording. The idea is to catch a theft attempt in progress, not just review after the fact. Live view with motion-activated spotlights can also scare off intruders.
7.Set Up Smart Alert Automation
For even more security, connect your Ring account with IFTTT. This allows you to set up customized smart alerts whenever your doorbell detects motion or is triggered. You can create an automated voice call to your phone saying, “Motion detected on front doorbell camera!” Other options include sounding a siren, activating emergency lights, or turning on all smart lights to scare off intruders.
Smart things like tons of lights flashing on or a piercing alarm may be enough to send a potential thief running. Just be sure your automations triggered by the Ring doorbell make sense. You don’t want an army of police showing up or weird noises disturbing your neighbors every time a car passes your home.
8.Use Deterrent Devices
A few devices are made specifically to deter would-be thieves from targeting your Ring doorbell. The “Ring Alarm Strobe Siren” has an ultra-bright LED strobe and 110db siren to scare off intruders. It easily pairs with Ring devices via Z-Wave and sounds when any connected Ring camera or alarm detects motion.
Ring’s “Peephole Cam” also has a theft-deterrent alarm. If tampering or removing the peephole camera is detected, a 95db warning sounds through the door to alert occupants and scare off burglars. It’s a small addition with a big impact.
9.Install Realistic Fakes
Some homeowners use realistic fake cameras or dummy doorbells to distract thieves from the real devices. A practical fake camera mounted in plain view looks like an easy score for a thief. But when they waste time stealing the decoy, the real camera continues recording unnoticed.
You can buy fake dome cameras that look like advanced CCTV models. Attach an old one firmly out of reach with adhesive for decoy doorbells. The dummy looks real from ground level to provide an effective diversion. Just be sure not to make it obvious which ones are fake.
10.Monitor Activity & Do Checkups
Watch motion alerts and live views from your Ring doorbell camera. Look for any suspicious activity that could indicate a theft attempt in progress. Check to make sure your camera angle still covers the full entryway without any obstructions.
Do periodic walk-around of your property to inspect your doorbell mounting. Verify the device remains securely attached without loosening or gaps for tampering. Check that visibility is not blocked and motion zones still cover possible thief approaches.
11.Adjust as Needed Over Time
Your home’s risk for doorbell theft may change over time as new houses get built nearby, or more development comes to the area. Keep an eye on local crime trends and reports of stolen Ring devices in your neighborhood.
You may need to tweak your setup over time by adding more cameras, additional deterrents, or stronger screws and brackets. Improved models with better tamper detection may come out. Integrate any innovations into your system. Just stay on top of best practices.
Keeping your Ring video doorbell secure takes forethought and diligence. Implementing multiple methods of theft prevention and detection is key. Follow these tips to safeguard your doorbell proactively. With smart installation and settings, you can stop thieves and capture critical footage if an attempt still occurs. Your Ring device will be there, keeping watch over your home.