The best apps available to prevent a thief from taking off with your smart phone

The numbers are staggering – an estimated one in 10 people fall victim to cellphone thieves. 
 
Last year alone more than 3.1 million people reported their phones stolen. According to reports, that's more than double the numbers from 2012.
 
But not all hope is lost if your phone gets stolen.
 
"I've actually tracked my device directly to a pawn shop before," said Taylor Wallace, the CEO of WeVue, a crowdsourcing app. 
 
Wallace knows all too well the frustration in stolen or lost phones -- he's been through several phones all because of pesky thieves.
 
But with the growing anti-theft industry, there are new tools to get reunited with your prized possession. 
 
"The really important part is to make it so someone cannot get into your device as yourself because then they can get into your password and your credit card information and personal data," he said.
 
One of the popular apps on the market right now is called Lookout with a feature known as "theftie." If the phone lands in the wrong hands and that person types in the wrong password a certain number of times, the app snaps a "theftie" of the thief. 
 
It then automatically sends the picture to your e-mail along with GPS coordinates of where it was taken.
 
Hillsborough County deputies say that's how they got their hands on a picture of an alleged thief in Riverview who is accused of stealing someone's phone while the victim went inside a gas station to pay.
 
The app is available on iPhone and Android phones, but iPhone doesn't offer the "theftie" feature because Apple doesn't allow it.
 
"As we've gotten better to make sure phones don't break, we've gotten better at making sure they can't be stolen," Wallace said.
 
There are other options available, too.
 
Apple offers the "Find My iPhone" app that does just that, using GPS and even sending out annoying tones to the phone.
 
"You can also prompt a message to be displayed on your phone, 'Hey, call me at my friend's number,' or '200 dollar reward,'" Wallace said.
 
As soon as the phone shuts off or dies, the app becomes worthless, but experts say it still may be worth downloading since an estimated one in 10 phones are stolen.
 
Apps like Lookout do come with a price. The premium version runs as high as $30 a year.
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