great testimonial, and scary for sure.
when I fly with my tripod I've always carried it on and never had an issue. But that doesn't mean I wont. I always figure I'll check JUST THE TRIPOD if it comes to it. IT spin the head off, put it in my camera bag, then check just the legs with a tag on it. All my gear is insured under a specific policy, but I'd bet home owners would cover theft even w/o a specific policy... But if you check just the tripod, then they can only steal that. If you check your whole pelican just for the tripod, then they can steal everything?
I'm also surprised the guys who do this don't just have bolt cutters themselves? The time it takes to get that far with a lock -vs- just snapping it quick with cutters? Yes, the cutters are move obvious/incriminating to be caught with, but so is stolen stuff, and you'd think the time messing with a bag would make it easier to get caught?