Police are hunting a masked thief who is stealing expensive video doorbells from homes in London.
The spate of thefts was discovered when one victim posted the theft of her £140 doorbell camera online and found out that she wasn’t the only person to be affected.
Jenny Barton, from Eltham, southeast London, said she actually witnessed the theft of her doorbell as it was ripped off the front of her home at 5.15am on August 14 after it recorded the man taking it and then again recorded a masked man fiddling with it a week later.
The doorbell starts recording every time it detects movement and alerts owners via an app on their phone.
When Jenny, 37, was alerted to the movement a week later, she used the on-gadget microphone to shout abuse back at the alleged thief.
The mum-of-three posted a warning message to a local neighbourhood Facebook page and found that at least six other Ring Video Doorbells had been stolen from neighbours.
It is not clear if the same man is responsible for all the thefts and Jenny said police had explained that the man seen handling the doorbell a week after it was taken wasn't necessarily the same person who stole the device.
The Metropolitan Police confirmed that Jenny reported the theft of a doorbell from the front of her house but no arrests had been made.
A spokesperson confirmed that a number of "similar thefts" - known to be thefts of doorbells - in the area have taken place though had not confirmed how many had been taken.
They said: "Officers have spoken to the homeowner and are awaiting CCTV footage to progress the investigation. No arrests have been made.
"Police are aware that a number of similar thefts have been reported in the area; enquiries continue to establish if these are linked."
A Ring spokesperson said: “Security is at the core of Ring’s mission and drives everything we do. Ring Doorbells are designed with security screws to mount them to the home, making them difficult to remove without proper tools.
“Furthermore, no fitted Ring device can be set up to a new account, unless the original owner proactively deletes the device from their Ring account. Therefore, in the event a Ring Doorbell is stolen, the device becomes immediately unusable to a new owner.”
The spokesperson said homeowners can install outdoor security cameras for additional security and added: “Ring does offer Theft Protection, so if a user’s doorbell is stolen, he or she can present the police report to Ring by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and Ring will replace the device for free (subject to additional terms and conditions, available at ring.com/warranty).”