Ring cam records its own theft from Vancouver home

Washington

The Vancouver homeowner was home when it happened

VANCOUVER, Wash. (KOIN) — Friday night was the night the Griffin family in Vancouver was getting out their Christmas decorations.

They stayed up late doing those decorations “and my husband was just taking my son up to sleep,” Meagan Griffin told KOIN 6 News. But that’s when she heard an alert on her phone from her Ring app. There was motion near their front door.

Someone was literally outside their front door and he appeared to be messing with the Ring doorbell camera.

Vancouver homeowner Meagan Griffin stands on her porch where a thief ripped their Ring doorbell camera off the wall and fled, November 18, 2019 (KOIN)

“There’s a hand and that’s all I can see. I can’t see a person and I’m just on the other side of the door,” she said. “It scared the bejesus out of me. It was very scary.”

She kept watching on her phone and yelled upstairs to her husband.

“I was trying to use that, like, it’s-not-too-scary mom voice to not scare my son. So I’m, like, ‘I’m going to need you to come downstairs.'”

Her husband came downstairs followed by her son who was “so scared,” she said.

A thief ripped a Ring doorbell from this Vancouver home as the homeowners watched and captured it on surveillance video, November 18, 2019 (KOIN)

The camera “recorded the entire incident up until he ran far enough away that our WiFi dropped the reception. So you can see everything.”

She said it takes about a minute before the video is watchable.

“We watched it from the beginning and that’s when we could see him coming up and everything he did,” Griffin said. “Then we watched the garage video, which is in color, and we could see his blue coat and the clothes he was wearing.”

Watch the full video, courtesy Meagan Griffin

“It looks like he’s trying to find something to take and then he just turned around and looked straight in the camera and pulled it off the house,” Griffin said.

The Griffins have had a Ring doorbell camera for about 18 months. They had the camera hardwired to the doorbell.

“We got the Ring because it’s supposed to deter theft. People see the camera and they know they’re being filmed so they usually just go away,” she said. “So, it was really weird to have it taken.”

She also said Ring’s policy is to replace the equipment if it’s stolen. “But it is also really weird it would be stolen.”

A thief ripped a Ring doorbell from this Vancouver home as the homeowners watched and captured it on surveillance video, November 18, 2019 (KOIN)

It’s hard to say for sure why he took the camera. If the thief tries to sell it as “used” online, it won’t work. Ring has a policy where ownership can only be transferred with permission from the original account holder that set up the device.

There’s a concern, she said, that he might come back. “I didn’t know if that was the intent, to come back and steal again if there’s no camera. Fortunately, we have one over the garage.”

Her son was so scared he slept in their bed that night. “It made me upset that he was that scared.”

“My hope,” she said, “is that this guy can get caught and stop stealing from people’s homes,” she said.

If you recognize the man in the video, call Vancouver Police.

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