Thief targeting home security devices in north Phoenix

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Video doorbells are known for recording evidence of package thefts. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Video doorbells are known for recording evidence of package thefts. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Video doorbells let you see who's at your door no matter where you are, with the visitor's live image popping up on your cell phone. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Video doorbells let you see who's at your door no matter where you are, with the visitor's live image popping up on your cell phone. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Video doorbells are meant to prevent theft, but now they are the target of thieves in a Scottsdale neighborhood. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Video doorbells are meant to prevent theft, but now they are the target of thieves in a Scottsdale neighborhood. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
SCOTTSDALE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

A device meant to help prevent theft is now the target of thieves in one north Phoenix neighborhood. Several neighbors who live near Tatum and Bell say their ‘Ring’ brand doorbell cameras are being stolen by a bold criminal.

Video doorbells are known for recording evidence of package thefts. They let you see who's at your door no matter where you are, with the visitor's live image popping up on your cell phone.

Now these devices themselves are going missing.

"It catches motion. The camera catches motion and when anyone hits the doorbell," said homeowner Razvan.

One week ago, in the middle of the night, Razvan got an alert someone was at his front door.

"I open my door. I see a hole in the wall. I see a guy running down the street," said Razvan.  

The thief had snatched his digital doorbell. The doomed device recorded its final moments.

In the video, you can see the masked man using a tool to pry it off the wall.   

"It just makes you feel more violated than anything, somebody stepping on your property, stealing something you have," said Razvan.

The guy in the video is the same person neighbors believe is responsible for at least two more thefts.

"I’m thinking he's just going to pawn it off, try to sell it, make a few hundred dollars off it,” said Razvan.

Several of his neighbors have them too. Down the street, Marcus Reinkensmeyer was able to talk to us even though he wasn't home.

Reinkensmeyer was lucky; the thief skipped over his home.

"You know, I never thought about it until the other day when our neighbor mentioned it to us, but I am concerned about it now," said Reinkensmeyer.

A company spokesperson said in a statement: 

"It's rare that Ring Doorbells are stolen given that they have special screws that secure them to the home, but most importantly that the owner will have a recording of the thief as he's stealing the Doorbell. As long as the user has cloud recording set up (most Ring users do), they can share the recording of the theft with the police to try to catch the suspect and recover the Doorbell.

Ring does offer lifetime purchase 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."

Ring gave Razvan a new camera. This one he installed out of reach.

Ring also says it takes steps to disable devices that have been reported stolen, making it impossible for someone to use it again. 

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Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


Lauren ReimerLauren Reimer joined the 3TV/CBS 5 family in June 2016. She is originally from Racine, WI but is no stranger to our heat.

Click to learn more about Lauren.

Lauren Reimer

She previously worked for KVOA in Tucson, covering topics that matter to Arizonans including the monsoon, wildfires and border issues. During the child migrant crisis of 2014, Reimer was one of only a handful of journalists given access to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection detention facility in Nogales, where hundreds of unaccompanied children were being held after crossing into the U.S. from Central America. Before that, Reimer worked at WREX in Rockford, IL. Lauren is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee and still visits home often. When not chasing news stories, Reimer loves to explore, enjoying everything from trying new adventurous foods to visiting state and national parks or local places of historical significance.

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