Luckily, this did not happen to us but we were in Montgomery Woods State Reserve eating lunch at a picnic table at the parking lot when a gentleman approached us asking how long we were there. We had just finished our hike and relaxing for about 10 minute eating. He told us his car was broken into and he was going to get his wife and children still on the trail.
When they returned they learned all his wife's items were stolen. She was a PhD student and her laptop with all research (much not backed up yet) was gone! I never saw someone so distraught. They were from Canada and had left everything out in the open (their words), thinking it was remote and quiet, therefore safe.
I had notice two strange individuals male and a female, lurking about the parking lot from the picnic table to the restrooms. They went to their car, which had the entire rear window smashed out, so it seemed strange they would be hiking with a car that could not be secured. We actually thought about leaving they were acting so strange. We waiting around then they starting hiking (no pack, strange) so we started as well. Lost track of them and this is what we found out.
I gave the information to the Canadians. They went to Ukiah to report to the police. The story goes on! As we drive into Ukiah, I see this car with the smashed out rear window parked on a side street! I proceed to the local sheriff office and the Canadians are there trying to report the theft. That seemed a disaster because they wouldn't do anything without a report form the park police. I told them where I just saw the car, showed them a picture of it with the plate number and gave them my contact info.
Never heard anything again. Please do not leave anything out in your car! No matter how remote. Local low life's know you will be gone for a while and target trail heads!
If driving in a car in the California sun, do not stop at Mendocino Chocolate Company at 542 North Main Street. We did and had to buy caramel which turned into the blob after a few hours though it still tasted delicious. Their candy is phenomenal so it might be worth having to lick it off of your belongings.