Usually if your device is stolen the first things a common thief is going to do is : Disconnect the devices from networks and wipe it out so he can resell it.
Here is the current setup i imagined to theft-protect my Android device against common thiefs.
Bang up the volume buttons so booting into factory reset mode isn't possible anymore. - don't worry you can replace them with a volume control app -
Disable USB debug mode.
Install an app locker which password protects the 'Settings' menu which can be used to enable USB debug mode and sometimes factory reset the device.
Install a stealth phone tracking app or your own malware which leaks GPS location and other usefull information by SMS if the attacker put on a SIM card or throught the internet if he connects to Wi-Fi.
What usefull informations could be retrieved ? LAC/CID, MSISDN, GPS coordinates, IP Address. On top of that, a RAT would allow mic and camera spying. We could leave some apps accessible for the thief to leak informations about himself.
Optionnal : Encrypt all the data to keep a more advanced thief with different goals to access your data.
These mesures leave the attacker with a locked-up device which he can't connect to any network, nor wipe out. Eventually he will become desesperate and connect to a network which will give away informations.
What do you think of this setup ? How would you manage to wipe out my phone anyways ?
Edit : In case the thief incredibly manages to wipe out the device, their's two tracking / anti-theft apps who persist even after factory reset, Avast Anti-Theft and Cerberus. You can also move your own tracking app / malware to system partition through root. Alnernativly, you can turn on Android own anti-theft protection which demand you login to your google account after factory reset