Help! Someone Put Tape (or Gum) on my Ring Doorbell Camera

You’re at work and wondering why your Ring Doorbell notifications haven’t gone off even once. If you know that the mailman always arrives around 10 a.m. and that at least one delivery is on its way, what’s the matter?

If your Ring Doorbell doesn’t work when you reach home, it’s because someone covered the sensor with tape. The boldness! Now you’re in a tricky scenario, with a missing parcel that Amazon claims was delivered, replete with an image of the box itself. What’s next?

In order to restore and prevent this from occurring in the future, what are the steps you may take?

Ring Cameras and Doorbells: What Are They?

An exterior Ring camera was mounted.

There are several smart home devices manufactured by Ring. Among its offerings are cameras, smart lighting, and an alarm system. The majority of Ring’s products help in the protection of your house from both the inside and the outside.

The smart cameras and video doorbells made by Ring are the company’s most popular items for sale.

The blue spinning circle on the Ring Doorbell indicates that it is still being set up.

You can keep an eye on your house even if you aren’t there with the help of these devices. You may configure how the perimeter of your house is monitored using the Ring app. You may select where your camera captures motion using Motion Detection zones, for example.

Zones of Ring Motion

Your cameras can also capture video, and that footage may be seen, as well as the settings you want to get notifications.

If you don’t have a Ring Protect Plan, your Ring cameras will not save any Motion-Detected event footage. However, you won’t know what caused the alerts to be sent until you go to the Live page and look at them.

With a few exceptions, most Ring devices use the 2.4 GHz band of Wi-Fi, with the exception of a few. The Video Doorbell Elite employs PoE, or Power over Ethernet, and a few of the Floodlight cam types can use the 5 GHz spectrum. The PoE cameras connect to the internet and electricity through an Ethernet cable.

For the contemporary smart home, cameras and video doorbells like the Ring are essential defenses against intruders. However, what if anything were to happen to them, such as a defacing act?

You’ve put tape or gum over your sensor. What now?

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Someone covered a Ring Doorbell with brown tape.

So what happens if someone tries to meddle with your cameras?

Step one is to remove it, and do it with the utmost gentleness. Scotch tape and masking tape are simple to remove and leave little to no adhesive residue on your cameras if they’re used.

The lens and camera may be cleaned using wipes if there is any residue remaining. However, not any kind of wipes will suffice. Those made for cleaning computer displays or spectacles are ideal for this task. Is it possible to clean your cameras with a wipe if the residue left behind is too sticky?

Home Depot and Lowes carry a variety of adhesive removal treatments that are safe for even the most delicate of surfaces, including electronics. This is when Goo Gone and Goof Off come in handy.

As an alternative to using paper towels, you may use a scratch-free cloth or soft tissue to apply the product to the afflicted region. Gum and other sticky substances like Gorilla and Duct tape may be particularly difficult to remove, but perseverance and mild abrasion are the keys to success.

Now that you’ve cleaned your cameras, you’ll want to know who did this to them in the first place. In particular, if they’ve taken anything from your property or vandalized another area of your property, you should be concerned. Where do you start your search?

Identifying the Vandalizer

Ringing the doorbell with their hand on it

Depending on when your camera began filming and at what point of the damage you can see the perpetrator’s face, this may be more difficult to do than you think.

This makes things more difficult if they put the material on the camera before the camera could capture their face.

Vandals may vanish in the blink of an eye, leaving you with just a few seconds of footage to identify them. A sluggish internet connection may be the blame for this. It’s possible that the camera began recording too late and missed capturing their face, or that the picture was distorted.

Pre-roll, in which Ring devices add 2-6 seconds of additional footage at the beginning of a video, might also be to blame. Ring cameras and doorbells, on the other hand, aren’t all equipped with this capability.

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You could also check your Motion Detection settings to see if they need to be tweaked. Vandals may have approached from an angle that wasn’t covered by your Motion Detection zones or was covered by your Privacy Zones.

Zones of Confidentiality for the Ring

What happens if you don’t have a camera to capture the vandal?

Do you live close enough to your neighbors to allow them to view the damage without being obstructed by fences or plants separating your property from theirs?

You may be able to get some information from them by asking the question. The effectiveness of this depends on how attentive they are, whether or not they are at home, and whether or not they care.

You’re out of options if you can’t figure out who it was from your camera or neighbors. But what if you’re able to pin down the perpetrator?

Aiming for the Person Who Killed

A view of a Ring Doorbell covered by a piece of tape

There are a variety of possibilities if you can see the vandal’s face clearly, either via the app or through nearby neighbors. These efforts may or may not yield results, but if a criminal is at large and has to be apprehended, it’s worth trying.

The first thing you may do is publish the footage of the vandal on the Ring Neighbors Community to identify him or her. There’s a good chance this won’t get much traction since most neighbors share a lot of useless information (e.g., “a squirrel plundered my bird feeder today!”). It’s enough for authorities to launch an inquiry if someone has had a similar experience, particularly if they are doing more than defacing smart cameras.

Google Play has the Neighbors by Ring app.

This is your second choice when it comes to law enforcement. It’s also a good idea to call the police in the event that anything has been stolen or damaged on your property. Depending on how thoroughly the individual can be recognized, as well as what they did, this strategy may have limited effectiveness. The cops may not do anything if they didn’t steal anything or deface anything other than your camera.

As long as enough proof and further victims are gathered, the vandal might be found. In the meanwhile, how can you ensure that this does not happen again?

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Ring Camera Defacement Preventative Measures

The answer: add a few more (hundreds) cameras. I’m joking, of course!

There is nothing that can be done to guarantee that this will never happen – humans are, after all, just people. There are, however, a few steps you may take to guard against this.

Mounting your cameras higher might make it more difficult for vandals to damage them. In the event of an audacious thief climbing up to seize your cameras, you’ll be able to get a good look at them (unless they’re wearing a mask) and describe them to the authorities.

The goal is that criminals who are less driven or motivated would just move on to an easier target because of the camera’s location at a higher altitude.

Trail camera boxes, which are made of plastic and can be secured, are another alternative that some people utilize. They are locked until the key is present, so no one else can get inside them. Even if you locate one that fits your Ring camera or doorbell, you can’t be sure that it will continue to record correctly. There are certain drawbacks to this choice, even if you choose it:

One of the reasons for this is that even the cleanest plastic boxes or clear lenses on those boxes, may distort your camera video when you watch it afterwards.

Secondly, opening a box anytime your cameras need recharging or you need to change the battery might be a nuisance.

There are some users who have discovered that placing a second camera nearby but relatively concealed helps them detect when the first camera is being defaced by someone. Vandals may be caught unawares if the camera is set up correctly. At the very least, it’s vulnerable to being discovered and modified with.

Taking Care of Your Equipment

Your camera will hopefully never be tampered with. Fortunately, if you do, there are a few things you can do to fix the problem and potentially prevent it from occurring again in the future.

Even yet, things do happen, and therefore being prepared is one of the greatest ways to deal with them.

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