I haven't even a whisper that Apple reported it as lost (or stolen), even after it was missing for weeks or even that they had been in touch with the PD. If this whole story hadn't broken, would they have since contacted the police? Had it been dropped in the Lost and Found bin at the local PD the day after it was lost, it might have been sitting in the bin for the last 6 weeks. 42 days. Half way to the 90 day requirement.
Police departments probably don't do a whole lot of investigation regarding lost property that is turned in. If the finder had turned in the phone shortly after finding it, it might have gone in a bin as just another lost phone, the police would have made their public notice that no one reads. Who knows if Apple would ever reported it lost or inquired at the PD...it seems they didn't after 3 weeks of it being missing. This is what a truly honest finder would have done. I believe that finder in this case was unscrupulous. He likely realized that even if it all worked out well for him by turning it in and becoming its owner after 90 days, that would have essentially been in the time frame that it has generally been assumed the new iPhone would be announced or released. He could ebay it at that point, legally, but the value would have dropped substantially. Depending on how far away from the launch it was, he could have legally sold it to Giz for a substantial amount.
I didn't being up the whole 90 limit to give anyone a pass or to argue how they might covered themselves legally. It was simply someone asked how long a person has to turn in lost property after finding it (a day, a week, a month)? There is no specified time. I brought up the 90 day limit, as it is the only time limit specified in the civil lost property statutes. It hasn't even been 90 days since it was lost, so it isn't like this could be used to defend anyone. Simple a part of the discussion on the statutes involved.
I can't agree with that. Apparently Apple showed up at this guys apartment before the police did. It's very likely that they did a quiet search before getting the police involved so as to attempt to keep the publicity down. I wouldn't be surprised if they offered some money at first. That's usually how this works. Once they knew it was going public before they could find it, they would be forced to go to the police.
The fact that they didn't do so right away means nothing in a case like this.