San Francisco Police Admits to Helping Apple in iPhone 5 Prototype Recovery [Report]



We told you yesterday that Apple had allegedly lost a next gen iPhone prototype in a San Franciscan tequila bar. Through a string of events, it was uncovered that Apple had purportedly tracked the prototype device to an apartment in Bernal Heights and sent a private security team on a recovery mission.

The San Francisco Police originally said that it had no knowledge of such an investigation, and it was believed that Apple’s security team could have posed as police for the purpose of searching the apartment of Sergio Calderón. Now, the SFPD is saying that officers did in fact help Apple in the attempt to recover the mysterious iPhone prototype.

The San Francisco Weekly reports:

“Contradicting past statements that no records exist of police involvement in the search for the lost prototype, San Francisco Police Department spokesman Lt. Troy Dangerfield now tells SF Weekly that “three or four” SFPD officers accompanied two Apple security officials in an unusual search of a Bernal Heights man’s home.

Dangerfield says that, after conferring with Apple and the captain of the Ingleside police station, he has learned that plainclothes SFPD officers went with private Apple detectives to the home of Sergio Calderón, a 22-year-old resident of Bernal Heights. According to Dangerfield, the officers “did not go inside the house,” but stood outside while the Apple employees scoured Calderón’s home, car, and computer files for any trace of the lost iPhone 5. The phone was not found, and Calderón denies that he ever possessed it.”

Calderón says that 6 people entered his home and searched his personal belongings for the prototype after allegedly tracking the prototype location to said apartment. One of the men that entered the apartment has been traced back to Apple and is listed as a “senior investigator” for the Cupertino company.

“When they came to my house, they said they were SFPD,” Calderón said. “I thought they were SFPD. That’s why I let them in.” He said he would not have permitted the search if he had been aware the two people conducting it were not actually police officers.”

This is a very odd situation. The SFPD originally states that it has no knowledge of the event, then the story makes the news, and the SFPD comes back with a vague statement affirming that the local police were in fact involved.

“Apple came to us saying that they were looking for a lost item, and some plainclothes officers responded out to the house with them,” Dangerfield said. “My understanding is that they stood outside.” He added, “They just assisted Apple to the address.”

Impersonating an officer is a crime punishable with up to a year in prison in the state of California. Is the SFPD backtracking to cover Apple’s tracks? Unlikely.

We’ll let you know more as the story develops.