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Special Report: Video Doorbells and The Danger at the Door

EUGENE, Ore. -- You see them everywhere -- dramatic doorbell video from all over the country capturing thieves in the act, and there are a lot of thieves to catch.

According to the National Council for Home Safety and Security, a burglar strikes somewhere in the United States every 13 seconds.

It happened to Jennifer Westing of Eugene and her family. She said the crooks stole everything they could get their hands on.

"Obviously, they took stuff, but emotionally they took something from us. They were in our home," Westing said.

Since the break-in, the Westings have beefed up security at their home, adding six security cameras including a Ring video doorbell.

Ryan Anderson, chief technology officer for local company Security Monster, said these video doorbells have become a hot item.

"If you don't have a video doorbell you should get one," Anderson said.

They allow you to monitor your home from your smartphone and speak to people through an intercom system. Some models let you lock your door using an app.

"Video doorbells are probably one of the least expensive opportunities to introduce video into your home," Anderson said.

Jeff Blonde, a crime prevention specialist with the Eugene Police Department, said video doorbells can make bandits think twice before breaking in.

"It can be very helpful. Some of these have very high-quality, high image resolutions that are very helpful for investigations," Blonde said.

But Anderson said not all of the cameras are created equal, and Blonde urges people to do their research before they buy one.

From Ring to Nest and SkyBell there are a lot of different companies out on the market.

Anderson raises concerns about some products from overseas manufacturers, and the federal government recently banned them from being used in federal buildings. Anderson said a lack of software updates have made them easy to hack, allowing hi-tech heisters to hijack them. He stands by the video doorbell products they use at Security Monster.

"We're definitely not driving consumer-level equipment. We are driving professional level equipment," Anderson said.

Blonde said the Eugene Police Department can't recommend one product over another.

"The technology is great but we don't want it to work against us or work in favor of the criminals," Blonde said. "Read multiple reviews to see the pros and cons and what the feedback from actual customers has been."

Meanwhile, Jennifer Westing said she's happy with her Ring doorbell and hasn't had a break-in since.