When you pay for something up front, you can't get it back either. Consumers seem comfortable with that. It's no worse than that.
Either party always has the option to release it to the other.
Payment up front: customer loses, and the thief gets the money.
Simple escrow: customer loses, but the thief doesn't get the money either.
Are you guys saying payment up front is better, because at least the thief gets the money, so at least someone gets it?
Imagine someone stole something from you. You can't get it back, but if you could, if it had a kill switch that could be remote triggered, would you do it? Would it be a good thing for thieves to know that everything you own has a kill switch and if they steal it, it'll be useless to them, although you still lose it too? If they give it back, you can re-activate it.
Imagine if gold turned to lead when stolen. If the thief gives it back, it turns to gold again.
It still seems to me the problem may be one of presenting it the right way. For one thing, not being so blunt about "money burning" for the purposes of game theory discussion. The money is never truly burned. You have the option to release it at any time forever.