This question worried me and so inspired this question. Provided that an airline traveller must rely on checked baggage, what can one dissuade or forestall such theft?
Friends have confirmed that for example, at London Heathrow Airport, customs precede the luggage claim carousel area, after which no especial law or security enforcement appears to check what one removed from the luggage carousel. So any traveller can access any luggage carousel and steal whatever on the carousel, without premeditation. For example, one may feel like pilfering a random suitcase?
Footnote: I wrote 'defer' in the question title; I assume that foregoing checked baggage is too inconvenient.