A nightmare neighbor keeps trying to sabotage his next door’s Ring Doorbell after claiming that it sees his house in an explosive neighborhood row.
Victoria Riskinskis, 39, installed a smart security gadget to monitor the welfare of her frail 61-year-old uncle, who lives alone.
But the doorbell triggered a ding-dong with neighbor Stephen Grove, 56, who claims it overlooks their home and has launched a campaign against the camera.
Grove has tried to damage the bell at least three times this year – but his only success has been picking up in crystal-clear definition.
And his actions led him to court and plead guilty to criminal damages when CCTV showed him cutting his wires with pliers.
On another occasion, Grove was seen taking a hammer to another camera in the house – and was filmed last month distorting Ring’s lens with a marker pen.
And in a quirky clip, he is reportedly almost flattened by the door after removing the hinges.
‘Pushing us to the brink’
And he acknowledged online that his efforts were “pathetic,” but argued that he felt like a prisoner in his own home over the camera.
But Victoria, whose uncle has a learning disability and whose Granthshala is not taking names online, argued she needed the camera to make sure her relative was safe.
He said: “Last year he had a fall and was alone for 45 minutes. So the camera is really important so we can check his welfare.
“The last thing anyone wants is to argue with their neighbor, but he is pushing us to the brink.
“I’ve honestly had enough.”
West Midlands Police said they had taken action, but they knew the issues were “ongoing”.
A wall bell was installed in January at the shared entrance of two adjacent bungalows in Birmingham, West Mids, after carers reported they were being harassed.
In March, the camera picked him up using pliers to cut the wires – which led him to admit criminal damages before a magistrate last month.
Yet, just days after his court appearance – for which he was conditionally acquitted after accepting criminal damages – he was seen taking a pen into the camera lens.
In July, Ring even picked up Grove while trying to rip the bell off the wall with his hands. A week later, he was filmed using a screwdriver to jab at the lens.
Victoria: “I have contacted the police, council and my MP probably 50 times. It has become like a full time job for me. I can’t do that – I’m very worried for my uncle. I want him to be transferred now for my own safety.
“The council needs to take action with their tenant because we cannot live with the constant fear of his unexpected behavior.
“No one is taking responsibility and enough is enough. How much will we have to endure until something is done?”
Victoria reveals that she is increasingly fearful for her frail uncle, who requires the use of a wheelchair and caregivers four times a day.
She claimed that their shared gate had been replaced six times because Grove had tampered with the locks or hinges.
‘I regret it’
In December, Grove was seen hammering a CCTV camera in the back garden with a hammer after walking out of his property at midnight.
She continued: “I promised my nan that I would always take care of her.
“He doesn’t have the life that you or I have – and the life he has is being ruined by the man next door.”
Grove admitted criminal damages in August for cutting the wire. The magistrate granted him a conditional leave of 12 months.
When contacted online, Grove said he believed the doorbell went off at the entrance to his home.
But he acknowledged that his actions were “pathetic”.
He said: “It’s pathetic, I know. But I feel like a prisoner. I open the gate and the camera is looking straight at me. It’s not right.”
“But I did some stupid things and I regret it.”
A Birmingham City Council spokesman said: “Our community safety team is dealing with the concerns raised and will work with partner organizations to address them, as appropriate.”
A West Midlands Police spokesman said: “We know the importance of feeling safe in our own home and understand how upsetting it is if you don’t think it’s a safe place.
“We have taken action and investigated the incidents reported to us, resulting in criminal damages being prosecuted before the courts.
“However, we understand that the issues are ongoing and the authorities are in regular touch with the victim and their family to resolve the situation.”