If you want to keep your checked valuables from being stolen while you fly, just keep a gun in your suitcase.
Many airports won't let you effectively lock your suitcases when you fly, and the new limits on carry-on luggage thanks to moisture-terror-hysteria mean it's open season for unscrupulous TSA employees and baggage handlers who want to help themselves to expensive cameras and other valuable in checked bags.
But once you add a gun — even a starter pistol — to your luggage, it gets extra-locked, gains new tracking privileges, and is subject to heightened scrutiny all the way to your destination.
A "weapons" is defined as a rifle, shotgun, pistol, airgun, and STARTER PISTOL. Yes, starter pistols – those little guns that fire blanks at track and swim meets – are considered weapons…and do NOT have to be registered in any state in the United States.
I have a starter pistol for all my cases. All I have to do upon check-in is tell the airline ticket agent that I have a weapon to declare…I'm given a little card to sign, the card is put in the case, the case is given to a TSA official who takes my key and locks the case, and gives my key back to me.
That's the procedure. The case is extra-tracked…TSA does not want to lose a weapons case. This reduces the chance of the case being lost to virtually zero.
It's a great way to travel with camera gear…I've been doing this since Dec 2001 and have had no problems whatsoever.