I've been fortunate in that although I bike everywhere I go, I've never had a bike stolen (knock on wood!) Only and somewhat inexplicably one rusty bolt-on front wheel. This is probably a combination of good locking techniques, usually locking up an unattractive target, and definitely a dose of good luck. One bike was cosmetically damaged but not stolen when a would-be thief tried to use my bike as leverage to break the lock, where it was locked to the railing of the front porch where I was living. The good luck? Another tenant saw this and scared him away.
After work yesterday I swung by the police warehouse on Strachan Avenue where the bikes are on display. A few people I know have had bikes stolen but could not make it down to look, or didn't think it was worth bothering. "But I like the bike I have now", or "I have no way to identify it" One friend no longer lives in Toronto, but had his beloved bike stolen some years ago here.
Armed with my mental list of makes and models I wandered the aisles of the warehouses arranged by letter by make name. It was so sad to see the whole sea of bicycles, that had obviously been once well loved by someone now sitting battered and alone. Many without wheels and saddles.
While I had no luck finding anything to tell my friends about, I did notice one person who claimed to have found his bike, and an officer was quizzing him on how he knew it was his. Many dejected looking faces having gotten their hopes up but not having found what they were looking for.