sorry for your loss Mark! I've only had one real instance of theft. A couple years ago I had a gps unit in my car, and left it suction cupped to my windshield. I had only had it for about 2 weeks, and didn't realize that this was an absolute no no. Apparently a couple of crackheads smashed my rear passenger window with a brick, and lifted it, along with a blackberry. A homeless guy saw the whole thing, and then asked me for money because of his tip :/
Made me really aware of just how easy it is to break into cars, and how meaningless a car -alarm is in a smash and grab situation like mine. These days, I leave nothing in plain view, not even cigarette lighter charging cables etc. This holds especially true for trail heads. Electronics and valuables go in the trunk, not in the glovebox. Sometimes I'll even leave a note on my dashboard saying that i've cleaned out the entire car, and it won't be worth their time to look.
Another time, I had a friend who just purchased a pack from REI. She left it in her trunk, but she drove a Honda CRV sport utility vehicle, where everything in the back trunk area is visible. They broke into her car just to steal her back pack. THere was nothing in the backpack, and they didn't touch anything else in the car. And I thought I had a bad gear addiction.
But seriously, don't leave anything in the car when you go hiking...thieves know that you'll be away for hours. Now these days, I see people who still leave their suction cradle for their gps mounted on their windshield...this to me is just as bad as leaving the whole unit there. Here in Boston, thieves will even look for a slight suctioncup ring print to figure out if you have a gps unit stashed in the car. I keep a bandana to wipe this away everytime now. In the end, being the victim of theft can be pretty expensive, and its def worth the few extra mins of time to make sure everything is hidden. Not only are you losing the value of your goods, but chances are you have to replace a shattered window, or broken door as well.