You pretty much have to have those features turned on and locked that way.
Most people disable those things to save battery power.
I think someone needs to invent a key fob that communicates with your phone and if contact is broken, it turns tracking on and reports its location to you in email. I know for certain my phone and my keys are never so far apart. I think that would be a pretty fool-proof system.
Did you ever use Lookout on your phone? If not go to a computer and go to the google play store and push the app Plan B to your phone. This will help you locate it if your phone is still on.
Here are some other options.
When or if you get your phone back or new one download an app call Cerberus. Yes it's a paid app but its a small price to pay for a $600 smartphone's security.
You're given features like
1. GPS tracking even if the phone is off
2. Steath photo mode front or rear camera
3. Ability to record audio to listen to the thieves
4. Look at the call log
5. Look at the sms log
6. And turn on Alarm
Hope these help you locate and stay in contact with your phone.
If the phone is getting data, and is still logged into your Gmail account, the you can push any app from the Play Store to your phone (from the same account). No one can push an app to your phone unless they already have access to your Play Store account. You can take your phone out of the mylar bag, now.
I have "Where's My Droid" on my phone because I have it turned down so I can't hear it when I get a text or phone call. I have a password to my phone so that if I lose it I can send a text message to my phone with my secret word I chose. When the text is received and that particular word is used, it starts playing a loud noise. It really does work too.