Three ways to beat the thief
1. For any iPhone using the latest version of its operating system, there's a 'Lost' mode that can be activated through iCloud. It locks the phone and tracks its location.
2. For Android phones, the 'Plan B' app locks your stolen phone, gives its location and even takes photos of the thief. The 'Where's My Droid' app wipes your phone when asked and sets off an alarm on it, remotely.
3. Write down your phone's IMEI code (dial *#06# into your phone to get it). If your phone is ever lost or stolen, give your operator that code and they will disable it.