Thanks for that, @Randall_Memphis. It's always worth posting things like this in the 'Stolen bikes' thread, which many more people read:
This one here is mainly for general advice.
I've updated the OP in quite a few sections. As ever, please do suggest corrections or improvements.
Thanks for this helpful first post & thread.
If I may make a suggestion for an addition to the OP, in the section about theft of components, it might be worth mentioning an old trick I was taught by one of the people who used to run the Reading Bike Kitchen.
Once you have your stem/bars/post/saddle/etc set up how you want it to be, get a ball bearing the right size to fit in the hex socket of the bolt that secures it, put some Araldite in the socket and push the ball in. Once the epoxy hardens it will be very very hard to release the bearing and it will not be possible for a thief with a hex key to undo the bolt.
For a slightly less "permanent" version, grease or wax can be used instead of Araldite/superglue.
I can confirm from my own experience that this is a very difficult (as in fiddly, time-consuming, non-standard-tool-requiring) thing to undo, and in my limited experience I have not suffered from opportunistic component theft from any of the bikes I've used the trick on.
Also swap a few normal hex bolts for torx. Double the tool needed, double the difficulty nicking a stem etc
Just had a nice pair of wheels nicked from my bike in the front garden (got complacent after a few years of no trouble and didn't lock them up properly), is Nine Elms market still the best place to go to try and find your stolen stuff in London?
Shut for the lockdown period mate - tried to take a look last weekend. Not sure if the Sally's head elsewhere or just wait.
Great idea. I've been using Hexlox on my bike - similar idea, but has a key that allows its removal to adjust/clean things still. I've not had any thefts of components using this - it's expensive, sure, but has kept me sorted for years now without any issue.
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