Thanks for the insight and additional suggestions. It looks like one will just have to be very diligent to guard and care for his equipment, since recovery is nigh unto impossible.
Frankly, I would do no less over here, even though I believe the authorities here would be much more responsive than how you described.
1. If they don't want it, they won't steal it.
Camouflage comes to mind. Making something appear as it is not. I have a drink cooler which is designed for a six pack of cold drinks. I use that cooler to leave my camera in when I run into a store. It keeps the camera from over heating while the air conditioner is off, and looks relatively worthless. Far less risky and dangerous than leaving a camera bag on the seat, or even in the trunk (boot) where it might bake.
2. Just take the camera with you.
It's probably safer on your person than in your vehicle. Besides, anyplace where you are comfortable, the camera probably is too.
3. Look cheap.
Cover your camera/lens not with an expensive lens coat but something home cut and home stitched. Loose threads hanging out from cut cloth will make it look very inexpensive.
4. Body language
Should be like as if one is at home, confident but relaxed and in control of the situation.
5. Any others?