Oh, oh, pick me, pick me.
I had this happen to me once a few years back. I was riding at Whiteface in upstate NY. Went in for a very quick (less than 20 minute) lunch, came out and my brand new Rome Agent was gone. I was so crushed. All that week I was just so depressed about it. I was riding 3-4 times a week and this board was my BABY.
I reported it to the mountain AND the local police department. I was lucky enough to have a receipt for the board and was able to give the mountain and the PD the serial number. This happened in February. I had my parents ship me my old board and rode out the rest of the season on that.
A whole six months later - in August - while working at a summer camp, I got a call from that very same local PD. They had found my board and matched the serial number to my case report. Apparently, some low-level mountain employee had been swiping boards and hiding them in a facilities garage/shed near the resort. He was caught red-handed moving them out into a truck. They found mine and a handful of others. The officer didnít know exactly what this guyís motive was, but suspected he was going to try and sell them next season at a bunch of local ski-swaps (which, by the way, I learned is a GREAT way to try and find stolen boards. Some local areas will actually cross-reference the serial numbers on boards on sale at ski swaps with stolen-board reports from local PDs). The douchebag had slapped a bunch of lame stickers on it to try and change the appearance but otherwise they said it was in great condition and I could have it back if I wanted to pay for shipping ($50, no big deal). Needless to say, I was PUMPED.
I always lock my board now. Doesnít matter if Iím going in for two seconds to grab a Gatorade, if the mountainís empty, Iím at a summit lodge, whatever. I use a simple retractable lock. You could probably cut the cord w/ some wire cutters but hell, if someoneís out to steal a board, theyíre gonna go for the low hanging fruit.
Bottom line, board theft sucks. I actually got VERY upset at a friend last year who hid my board on me at the mountain as a joke. All b/c of my experience. Lock it or donít loose sight of it. Nowadays lots of resorts have camera systems in place and/or ski-checks (usually for $), so its gotten better over the years but still. For a toy worth $$$, I donít know why more people donít lock up.