No, Apple did not impersonate police: SFPD assisted in search for iPhone 5 (Updated)

Update: The SFPD has given Cnet a full statement:

After speaking with Apple representatives, we were given information which helped us determine what occurred. It was discovered that Apple employees called Mission Police station directly, wanting assistance in tracking down a lost item. Apple had tracked the lost item to a house located in the 500 block of Anderson Street. Because the address was in the Ingleside Police district Apple employees were referred to Officers in the Ingleside district. Four SFPD Officers accompanied Apple employees to the Anderson street home. The two Apple employees met with the resident and then went into the house to look for the lost item. The Apple employees did not find the lost item and left the house.

The Apple employees did not want to make an official report of the lost item.

Earlier today, SF Weekly reported that a Bernan Heights man claimed Apple posed as police officers to search his house for the missing iPhone 5. SFWeekly is now reporting that their earlier report had some incorrect points, and that the San Francisco Police Department did assist Apple.

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.

Four plain clothed police officers came to the house with two Apple security guards. During the search inside the home, the four police officers stood outside while the Apple security guards were inside. What is odd is that the police report wasn’t filed as such. We’re sure more is going to come out in terms of this case.

CNET: iPhone prototype lost in Mexican bar, Apple employees offer cash to finder?


Back in July, someone sent in this photo described as portraying a prototype phone, presumably iPhone 5, in the hands of an Apple employee on his way from work in San Francisco.

We find it hard to believe Apple would be foolish enough to lose another iPhone prototype – and at a bar, too – but this comes from CNET and they’re vouching for it. An iPhone prototype – probably for an upcoming model,  allegedly went missing last month in Cava22, a Mexican restaurant and bar in San Francisco’s Mission District.

The device may have been already sold on Craiglist for $200, the publication has it. CNET has learned that the errant phone “sparked a scramble by Apple security to recover the device over the next few days”. Apple representative allegedly contacted the police, the story goes, to tell the device was “priceless” and that Apple “was desperate” to see it recovered. No details were provided about the phone’s looks or what iOS version it was running. Here’s the thriller part:

Apple electronically traced the phone to a two-floor, single-family home in San Francisco’s Bernal Heights neighborhood, according to the source. When San Francisco police and Apple’s investigators visited the house, they spoke with a man in his twenties who acknowledged being at Cava 22 on the night the device went missing. But he denied knowing anything about the phone. The man gave police permission to search the house, and they found nothing, the source said.

And this is where the story gets interesting:

Before leaving the house, the Apple employees offered the man money for the phone no questions asked, the source said, adding that the man continued to deny he had knowledge of the phone.

Could it be just us or does that last bit make the entire story less believable. Apple last year pushed the police and FBI into raiding a journalist’s house and now they bribe someone to get their stolen property? Read more