SFPD now says plainclothes officers did join in search for lost iPhone 5 prototype

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
After initially denying that the San Francisco Police Department was involved in searching the house of a man suspected of possessing a lost iPhone 5 prototype, a spokesman for the department has confirmed that plainclothes officers visited, but did not enter, the residence with Apple security officials.



The back-and-forth saga over an iPhone 5 prototype that was reportedly lost in a bar in July took on new twists after the San Francisco Police Department first denied, then confirmed, its involvement in the search for the device. SFPD spokesman Lt. Troy Dangerfeld told SF Weekly on Friday that "three or four" officers accompanied two Apple security officials to a home in the Bernal Heights neighborhood of the city.



Though a separate spokesperson had originally been unable to find a record of the investigation, Dangerfeld confirmed the visit to 22-year-old Sergio Calderón's house after speaking with Apple and the captain of the Ingleside police station. The police officers "did not go inside the house," instead standing outside while Apple's employees searched Calderón's house, car and computer.



"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...They just assisted Apple to the address."



For his part, Calderón claims that he was led to believe that all of the visitors were police officers, as none of them identified themselves as working for Apple. "When they came to my house, they said they were SFPD," he said. "I thought they were SFPD. That's why I let them in."



Calderón also alleged he was threatened by the police during the visit. "One of the officers is like, 'Is everyone in this house an American citizen?' They said we were all going to get into trouble," he said.



But, Dangerfeld said that there did not appear to be any evidence that Apple's security team had falsely represented themselves as police officers. "I don't have any indication of that. I'm not going to go there," he said, adding that he plans to speak with Calderón about the incident.



Details of the missing iPhone prototype first emerged earlier this week. Apple reportedly scrambled to recover the device once it discovered it was missing, using GPS to track the prototype from the Cava22 bar (pictured below) in the Mission to Bernal Heights.







The incident contains an eery resemblance to last year's drama over an iPhone 4 prototype, which was left in a bar in Redwood City and eventually sold to a publication. Police have charged two individuals with misappropriation of lost property and possession of stolen property. However, Gawker Media, which reportedly paid $5000 to obtain the device, will not face charges.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 70
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 6,110member
    I guess even AI along with everyone else is racing to the bottom of the sewers of zero-class journalism in terms of being the first to post anything about this saga.



    Why not simply wait till the FACTS come out instead of shooting from the hip? It'll save face later.
  • Reply 2 of 70
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    This sounds more plausible.
  • Reply 3 of 70
    poochpooch Posts: 768member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    SFPD spokesman Lt. Troy Dangerfeld told SF Weekly on Friday that "three or four" officers accompanied two Apple security officials to a home in the Bernal Heights neighborhood of the city.



    they can send "three or four" officers to accompany apple employees on a search for a missing piece of property, but i have people shoving wine bottles up their butts outside my apartment and it takes an act of congress to get the police to show up. guess next time i'll just tell them that the guy is stuffing an iphone up there.
  • Reply 4 of 70
    The next twist in the story is that it's not Apple, but rather Ford with a new Mustange in New Zealand instead of SF.
  • Reply 5 of 70
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    This sounds more plausible.



    Well... the first version (or was that the second) sounded really far fetched. This does sound more real.



    I'm waiting for the story to come out that Calderon works for Google security...
  • Reply 6 of 70
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 24,388member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sflocal View Post


    I guess even AI along with everyone else is racing to the bottom of the sewers of zero-class journalism in terms of being the first to post anything about this saga.



    Why not simply wait till the FACTS come out instead of shooting from the hip? It'll save face later.



    The original SFWeekly story is here and adds some additional information to the AI blog.

    http://blogs.sfweekly.com/thesnitch/...ple_police.php
  • Reply 7 of 70
    tulkastulkas Posts: 3,757member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    This sounds more plausible.



    Well, it isn't really more or less plausible.



    Given the facts, until the SFPD came clean, all anyone knew was that someone showed up at this guys house, representing themselves as police and requesting access to search the home. Since the police formally denied any involvement, it only left two possible conclusions, if the police were being honest and factual (turns out they weren't). Either Sergio was lying, which turns out not to be the case, or someone that was not the police said they were the police.
  • Reply 8 of 70
    geekdadgeekdad Posts: 1,131member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Pooch View Post


    they can send "three or four" officers to accompany apple employees on a search for a missing piece of property, but i have people shoving wine bottles up their butts outside my apartment and it takes an act of congress to get the police to show up. guess next time i'll just tell them that the guy is stuffing an iphone up there.



    Exactly....These were plain clothes police officers. So it seems they were not just beat cops but detectives So they were a higher pay grade just to investigate a lost phone!!!

    So how many times do you think that happens? If you or I reported we lost our phones do you think they would send detectives out to investigate?

    Then to top it off no lost or stolen property was found.
  • Reply 9 of 70
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by geekdad View Post


    Exactly....These were plain clothes police officers. So it seems they were not just beat cops but detectives So they were a higher pay grade just to investigate a lost phone!!!

    So how many times do you think that happens? If you or I reported we lost our phones do you think they would send detectives out to investigate?

    Then to top it off no lost or stolen property was found.



    There is a difference between a prototype and a regular phone you can buy. It's like how there's a difference between confidential plans and a stack of paper. They both might be made of the same materials-paper-but one is obviously more valuable than the other.
  • Reply 10 of 70
    geekdadgeekdad Posts: 1,131member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Qualia View Post


    There is a difference between a prototype and a regular phone you can buy. It's like how there's a difference between confidential plans and a stack of paper. They both might be made of the same materials-paper-but one is obviously more valuable than the other.



    you are correct......there is a difference. But it is still a lost phone......it this was HTC or Samsung and the police gave their lost prototype this much attention most here would be complaining that they were getting too much police attention. That it was taking the police away from real crimes.....

    C'mon you know that's a correct statement.
  • Reply 11 of 70
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by geekdad View Post


    Exactly....These were plain clothes police officers. So it seems they were not just beat cops but detectives So they were a higher pay grade just to investigate a lost phone!!!

    So how many times do you think that happens? If you or I reported we lost our phones do you think they would send detectives out to investigate?

    Then to top it off no lost or stolen property was found.



    Of course your publicly available device isn't going to get any priority, but devices that can cost a company millions of dollars will. It's not just Apple or the iPhone but any company that reports something that could lead to corporate espionage. Sure, the guy who took it wasn't working for Samsung, just in the right place at the right time, but that doesn't mean it wont end up being a part of a larger problem.
  • Reply 12 of 70
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by geekdad View Post


    That it was taking the police away from real crimes.....

    C'mon you know that's a correct statement.



    1) How much money needs to be lost before it becomes a real crime to you?



    2) It sounds like you are picturing the entire SF police force running aroun like Keystone Cops looking for an iPhone prototype? \
  • Reply 13 of 70
    quinneyquinney Posts: 2,528member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tulkas View Post


    Either Sergio was lying, which turns out not to be the case, or someone that was not the police said they were the police.



    Or one or more of the police identified themselves as police and Sergio assumed wrongly that all six of them were police (which is probably what the ex-policeman Apple employee was counting on).
  • Reply 14 of 70
    This "lost phone" could be worth a hundred million dollars in lost revenue. If the SFPD aren't sending officers out to help try and find something worth a hundred million dollars, then they're not doing their jobs.
  • Reply 15 of 70
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 9,233member
    It's funny how the iPhone 5 is the most anticipated phone ever, yet the select few who get to test it out consists of at least one complete drunken moron. You simply don't go around losing Apple phone prototypes. Unless you happened to be held up at gunpoint by members of a Mexican drug cartel wielding machine guns, then there's simply no excuse.



    The new CEO should come down hard on the absent minded and forgetful employee and show everybody who's in charge. What would Steve do?
  • Reply 16 of 70
    Anybody can see that Apple strong armed this guy by threatening him and impersonating police officers as they searched his house!!! You can't search anyone's home! No, you cannot do that. This is not the USSR in 1975 (or Russia today). It's America and you can't come into a home acting like you're a cop. People go to jail for this. It's called impersonating a police officer and it carries prison time. The idiot Apple "security official" is an ex cop. Probably a good reason he's not a cop anymore. He certainly knew they were breaking the law. But Apple is worse than big brother and they can strong arm the police. They have more money than the US mint and the arrogance of Apple is certainly obvious here. This cannot get brushed aside as Apple will try to do. If it does it's proof that you can buy anything you want if you are rich and powerful. I doubt that the cops were really there,standing outside,because they denied it in the beginning. They denied it because it was the truth. Then Apple placed a call and suddenly the cops were "actually there but only outside". This is wrong and it needs to be opened up in the major press like it would be if it were anyone else other than Apple. How would you like it if a company, any company, did this to you? Needs to go to the DA for prosecution.
  • Reply 17 of 70
    lilgto64lilgto64 Posts: 1,147member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Zeos View Post


    Anybody can see that Apple strong armed this guy by threatening him and impersonating police officers as they searched his house!!! You can't search anyone's home! No, you cannot do that. This is not the USSR in 1975 (or Russia today). It's America and you can't come into a home acting like you're a cop. People go to jail for this. It's called impersonating a police officer and it carries prison time. The idiot Apple "security official" is an ex cop. Probably a good reason he's not a cop anymore. He certainly knew they were breaking the law. But Apple is worse than big brother and they can strong arm the police. They have more money than the US mint and the arrogance of Apple is certainly obvious here. This cannot get brushed aside as Apple will try to do. If it does it's proof that you can buy anything you want if you are rich and powerful. I doubt that the cops were really there,standing outside,because they denied it in the beginning. They denied it because it was the truth. Then Apple placed a call and suddenly the cops were "actually there but only outside". This is wrong and it needs to be opened up in the major press like it would be if it were anyone else other than Apple. How would you like it if a company, any company, did this to you? Needs to go to the DA for prosecution.



    Sure it is legal to search a person's house - if you are an officer of the law and have either just-cause OR a warrant. Most people think that a warrant is to protect the rights of the person being searched - wrong - it is a legal waiver of any wrong doing on the part of the official doing the search. Meaning that if the result is the officer was wrong - then the warrant effectively says no harm - no foul - and you have basically no legal recourse to do anything about it.



    On the other hand if the officer comes to the door and asks to search or breaks down the door - even under just cause - and he is wrong - then you can sue for damages etc.



    I am not a lawyer or police officer - so I may be getting that not 100% legally accurate - but the idea is that many people do not understand the way our legal system works.



    If there was no official police involvement - it could be the ex-cop calling a couple of buddies to show up and say SFPD - we need to look around - and then remain outside themselves so that they do not have to do any paper work etc and are not technically breaking the law as they did not enter the premises. and then the department covering their own backside in case the officers (or detectives or whatever) were photographed or identified later as being as the address.



    So what do you think the police are SUPPOSED to do when a citizen or representative of a corporation arrives at the police station and says I have reason to believe that this person has received stolen property that belongs to me?
  • Reply 18 of 70
    geekdadgeekdad Posts: 1,131member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    1) How much money needs to be lost before it becomes a real crime to you?



    2) It sounds like you are picturing the entire SF police force running aroun like Keystone Cops looking for an iPhone prototype? \



    I wasn't thinking in terms of money...what about violent crimes. Is there a dollar figure on the lost phone? Was it an IP5 prototype for sure? It's going to be released in a few weeks so it will become public soon. It seems to be more embarrassing than anything....this has happened twice now....
  • Reply 19 of 70
    geekdadgeekdad Posts: 1,131member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tonton View Post


    This "lost phone" could be worth a hundred million dollars in lost revenue. If the SFPD aren't sending officers out to help try and find something worth a hundred million dollars, then they're not doing their jobs.



    How did you come up with that dollar amount? IF it was an IP5 prototype then it will be released in just a few weeks. Then it will be public with no secrets....
  • Reply 20 of 70
    quinneyquinney Posts: 2,528member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by lilgto64 View Post




    If there was no official police involvement - it could be the ex-cop calling a couple of buddies to show up and say SFPD - we need to look around - and then remain outside themselves so that they do not have to do any paper work etc and are not technically breaking the law as they did not enter the premises. and then the department covering their own backside in case the officers (or detectives or whatever) were photographed or identified later as being as the address.




    I think this might be about right. Also, the department may not have known about it until recently, if the SFPD officers didn't do paperwork. I'm guessing a few personnel files will be updated negatively.
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