Stolen phones with Lyft accounts allowed a trio to request rides and rob and assault rideshare drivers in just a matter of hours Friday night.

President of Kraft Technology Group Don Baham says you really need to be proactive instead of reactive when it comes to keeping your phone secure.

“Simply putting a passcode into your phone enables encryption but it also is an easy deterrent from somebody just getting access to it,” Baham said.

Baham says always lock your phone and put a passcode on everything, including the apps inside your phone. He says it’s better to use your fingerprint or face i.d. when possible.

“If there's a security setting or option within the phone certainly make sure that, that's enabled,” Baham said.

Baham says Apple and Google devices have “find my phone” apps that can allow you to track your lost or stolen phone and even mark it as lost. You can only do this is you have an account setup beforehand.

“There’s a lost mode where it will lock the phone, it will put a phone number on the screen itself to call if it’s lost,” Baham said.

These simple steps could prevent suspects from using your accounts for crimes.

Police say Reginald Williams Jr. admitted to being involved in a violent string of crimes targeting rideshare drivers, using multiple stolen accounts on stolen phones.

Williams Jr. requested at least four rides Friday night allegedly sexually assaulting one driver, stealing a car from another and even shooting a driver during an attempted robbery in North Nashville.

“It’s crazy to believe that something like that could occur in this neighborhood,” neighbor Michael Anderson said.

Williams Jr. was arrested in 2017 when he was just 15 for a similar crime. Police released surveillance pictures showing him robbing a cab driver at gunpoint. He was released shortly after and placed on supervised probation.

Williams Jr. was wearing an ankle monitor during the crime spree on Friday, which was supervised by the Department of Children’s Services. At the time of this posting DCS has not returned our request for comment.

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Reporter

Brittany Weiner joined the News4 team as a reporter in July 2018.

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