SFPD launches internal investigation over role in search for iPhone prototype

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
The San Francisco Police Department has initiated an internal investigation into the role some of its officers played in assisting Apple security officials in a search for a lost prototype of Apple's unreleased fifth-generation iPhone.



Lt. Troy Dangerfield revealed to CNet on Wednesday that an investigation is underway which may involve interviewing Sergio Calderón, the man whose house was searched by Apple employees.



Details emerged last week that Apple was on the hunt for a missing iPhone prototype that had been left in the Cava22 bar (pictured below) in San Francisco's Mission district in late July. Apple reportedly tracked the device to a residence in the Bernal Heights neighborhood and enlisted the help of the police to pay a visit to the house.



The SFPD originally claimed that it had no record of such an investigation, but then confirmed that "three or four" plainclothes officers had accompanied Apple security personnel to the house without going inside.



For his part, Calderón alleges that he was led to believe that the people searching his house were police officers. According to him, he would not have consented to the search had he known that they were Apple employees. The 22-year-old also noted that the officers had vaguely threatened him by questioning the immigration status of members of his household. He said that he is "talking to an attorney," but did not indicate whether he intends to formally press charges.







SFPD Chief Greg Suhr told the San Francisco Chronicle the police regularly assist independent private investigators. "The reason we do civil standby is to make sure there isn't a problem," he was reported as saying. "Whatever conversations the (Apple) employees had with the resident, I can't say."



As of earlier this month, Apple is shopping for two new managers of "New Product Security" to help prevent incidences like lost prototypes from reoccurring. The company is known for its tight security and has a variety of measures in place to protect itself from leaks.



However, in spite of its security protocols, Apple has now had two iPhone test device leaks in less than two years. Last year, an iPhone engineer lost an iPhone 4 prototype in a Redwood City, Calif., bar. The device was reportedly sold to Gawker Media for $5000. The two individuals who received payment for the prototype have been charged for "misappropriation of lost property.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 62
    eriamjheriamjh Posts: 1,351member
    This phone may be really lost. Why haven't pics of it come up on the internet? Maybe because it looks just like a regular iPhone 4?
  • Reply 2 of 62
    I don't understand what this person is alleging: that there deliberate deception or that he wasn't sure or misunderstood who was asking for his consent to search his home? I can understand how easy it might be for a bunch of guys to show up, and if no one is in uniform, you might think they were all from the same agency. Seriously, if they're not in uniform, ask to see a badge number.
  • Reply 3 of 62
    Perhaps Apple should screen the employees that they give their prototypes a little better? ;-) I mean both prototypes left in a Bar??
  • Reply 4 of 62
    They did nothing wrong the way I see it, SFPD. They waited outside so there won't be any problems. That Calderon guy should have checked credentials. Whatever it is, it is Apple security team that need to be looked at and definitely them crocked test engineers. I'm pretty sure the phone was there initially but seeing this has happened before, it gets hot pretty quickly so must have been ushered out of the building pretty quickly and have been off grid since.
  • Reply 5 of 62
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,319member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Splash-reverse View Post


    They did nothing wrong the way I see it, SFPD. They waited outside so there won't be any problems. That Calderon guy should have checked credentials. Whatever it is, it is Apple security team that need to be looked at and definitely them crocked test engineers. I'm pretty sure the phone was there initially but seeing this has happened before, it gets hot pretty quickly so must have been ushered out of the building pretty quickly and have been off grid since.



    Since it's not clear exactly what the plainclothes did, there's no way for any of us to make any definitive judgement whether they did anything wrong or not.
  • Reply 6 of 62
    tulkastulkas Posts: 3,757member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post


    I don't understand what this person is alleging: that there deliberate deception or that he wasn't sure or misunderstood who was asking for his consent to search his home? I can understand how easy it might be for a bunch of guys to show up, and if no one is in uniform, you might think they were all from the same agency. Seriously, if they're not in uniform, ask to see a badge number.



    I guess he is saying that the police introduced themselves as a group of police, without qualifying that only some of the were police. Something like "Hi, I'm detective Smith [shows badge]. We're with the SFPD and we'd like to ask some questions".



    It might not have been intentionally deceptive, but if Calderon is being honest, it was deceptive nonetheless. If Calderon only consented to the search because he was told the group was a group of SFPD officers, then that could be argued to be consent under false pretenses. If the consent was also assisted with 'vague' threats, then that might count as undue duress.



    Additionally, if the Apple security people might be held to the same standards for search as police, if they meet certain criteria where they are or appear to be acting as police. Did they work in cooperation with or under supervision of police, were they moonlighting police, were they identified as police, are they licensed security officers, were they wearing police-like uniform or badges?



    Consent gained through fraud or undue duress is not always considered consent. And if the Apple security people are found to meet the criteria of appearing to be police, then they are held to the same standards and have the same limitations gaining consent.



    The part of the SFPD statement that sticks out to me is "The reason we do civil standby is to make sure there isn't a problem". That's great, but if you are there to make sure there isn't a problem, why are you all waiting outside while the involved parties are together, out of sight and indoors? Hard to make sure there isn't a problem if all you are doing is holding up a wall outside. Then it would appear all they were really there for was to be there.
  • Reply 7 of 62
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by NeoX360 View Post


    Perhaps Apple should screen the employees that they give their prototypes a little better? ;-) I mean both prototypes left in a Bar??



    Maybe Apple should start SELLING iPhones out of bars... Would give Genius Bar a whole new spin.
  • Reply 8 of 62
    galbigalbi Posts: 968member
    Notice how they say the phone was tracked down to this bar.



    If the phone wasn't there, what were they tracking?
  • Reply 9 of 62
    sheffsheff Posts: 1,407member
    Somthing is weird about this strory. If apple used find my i to find this guy, how is it possible that they could not find the phone? Gps is hella accurate and unless this guy lives in a giant apartment complex, how cohuld they not find it.



    Also, if he was at the bar AND the find my i brought them to him, he must freaking know something about where the phone is.



    How can you have "plain clothes" police go out for a search. I am pretty sure they have to have a warrant and be proprely dressed to conduct a search, and certainly cant stand by if someone is conducting a search without warrant.



    I am no expert, but gizmodo case made more sense, and they got away with it. If this guy stole the phone AND gets to sue apple for thousands, i will be scratching my head pretty hard.
  • Reply 10 of 62
    sheffsheff Posts: 1,407member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post


    Maybe Apple should start SELLING iPhones out of bars... Would give Genius Bar a whole new spin.



    Nice. Maybe they should open a genius bar instead so their engineers could attend those instead
  • Reply 11 of 62
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 9,233member
    In related news, Samsung has begun buying up bars in the area. As of today, they've already acquired 11 bars and more deals are to be finalized early next week. The amount they paid in total is peanuts for a large company like Samsung. The company is ensuring that the next lost Apple prototype will end up in their hands and this is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to make that happen.
  • Reply 12 of 62
    big kcbig kc Posts: 136member
    Lt. Troy Dangerfield. Really? That's an AWESOME name for a cop. Is Inspector Harry Callahan still with the SFPD? Put him on the case, he doesn't take crap from anyone.
  • Reply 13 of 62
    tulkastulkas Posts: 3,757member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post


    In related news, Samsung has begun buying up bars in the area. As of today, they've already acquired 11 bars and more deals are to be finalized early next week. The amount they paid in total is peanuts for a large company like Samsung. The company is ensuring that the next lost Apple prototype will end up in their hands and this is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to make that happen.



    Free drinks all night, every night for Apple employees would probably ensure a steady supply of various prototypes. Samsung could probably write it all off as R&D.
  • Reply 14 of 62
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tulkas View Post


    but if Calderon is being honest,



    That's a huge IF.



    for all we know, the police were told it was a private matter of a lost phone. Not a lost prototype. For all we know, they made it 100% clear that the other folks were not cops. For all we know, those other folks don't really work for Apple or where not there in an official capacity, .



    According to my sources, Apple ID badges don't have any info about where you work. This Tony guy could be a janitor who trumped up that LinkedIn profile (might explain why he put up a gomba looking photo on a professional network) with some friends that work at said bar to pull a 15 minutes of fame. He dresses up a little nice and goes to the police and says that he's a security guy from Apple and they need the police to help them keep the peace and so on. Which is in keeping with their duties. But with no warrant perhaps they can't come inside. Only the private folks can ask etc. But little do the cops know, this Sergio is Tony's buddy so of course he's going to say "I didn't take anything, why don't you come in and look for yourself" . and then go rat out the twisted version of the story to CNET etc. and then they pull the trumped up profile after everyone has had a change to go search the name and find it. All to make things look fishy.



    It's just as plausible as the reported story given how little we know and how much we only have 'as told by' data regarding
  • Reply 15 of 62
    Nobody gives a fukk. This 'story' is only a 'story' for 2 reasons.



    1) The iPhone protoype lost last year was found and then sold to Gizmodo. Who first ripped it apart and took a 100 pictures of it to post all over the internet. People want an early look at the iPhone5 and that simply isnt going to happen again.



    2) The iHaters make such a big deal out of the "Apple Security Force" searching this man's house. Apple did nothing more than any normal person would have wanted to have done. If I lost my iPhone tonite.. and the Find-My-iPhone feature said that my phone was sitting in a house down the street. You can bet everything you have, that I would call the cops and wait outside that house until they arrived. When they arrive, I'd show them proof on the computer that it says my phone is in that house and I'd damn sure want to get it back.



    Where the story gets fuzzy is DID or DID NOT the homeowner allow the Apple employees to search the house. If the homeowner did allow it, then thats it. Story over. The homeowner gave his persmission for a stranger to search the house.. had the homeowner thought about it.. then yes he should have asked for ID/Credentials of the people specifically searching. If the homeowner DID NOT the Apple employees to search, and they falsified their ID to say they were SFPD. Then those employees (not Apple as a corporation) broke the law and the proper legal action should be taken.



    Either way it turns out.. nobody will even give a damn in a couple of weeks when the iPhone5 is officially released, and the world finally knows what it looks like. The hype behind this story is all about people either a) wanting an early peak at what the iPhone5 looks like or b) using this story to show why "Apple is the debil".
  • Reply 16 of 62
    mennomenno Posts: 854member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Daekwan View Post


    Nobody gives a fukk. This 'story' is only a 'story' for 2 reasons.



    1) The iPhone protoype lost last year was found and then sold to Gizmodo. Who first ripped it apart and took a 100 pictures of it to post all over the internet. People want an early look at the iPhone5 and that simply isnt going to happen again.



    2) The iHaters make such a big deal out of the "Apple Security Force" searching this man's house. Apple did nothing more than any normal person would have wanted to have done. If I lost my iPhone tonite.. and the Find-My-iPhone feature said that my phone was sitting in a house down the street. You can bet everything you have, that I would call the cops and wait outside that house until they arrived. When they arrive, I'd show them proof on the computer that it says my phone is in that house and I'd damn sure want to get it back.



    Where the story gets fuzzy is DID or DID NOT the homeowner allow the Apple employees to search the house. If the homeowner did allow it, then thats it. Story over. The homeowner gave his persmission for a stranger to search the house.. had the homeowner thought about it.. then yes he should have asked for ID/Credentials of the people specifically searching. If the homeowner DID NOT the Apple employees to search, and they falsified their ID to say they were SFPD. Then those employees (not Apple as a corporation) broke the law and the proper legal action should be taken.



    Either way it turns out.. nobody will even give a damn in a couple of weeks when the iPhone5 is officially released, and the world finally knows what it looks like. The hype behind this story is all about people either a) wanting an early peak at what the iPhone5 looks like or b) using this story to show why "Apple is the debil".



    besides that Apple never (according to the home owner) identified themselves AS apple. Instead they let the owner assume they were ALL cops and then proceeded to search his home under that assumption (and they didn't find it)



    I agree, no one will give a damn once the iphone 5 is released, and that's really sad. Tech is great. But that kind of search that occurred is unacceptable. the ONLY people that guy gave permission to search his home were the cops, and they didn't enter. How would you like it, if I showed up with the cops, they flashed their badge and then I went through all your stuff?
  • Reply 17 of 62
    diddydiddy Posts: 282member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Menno View Post


    But that kind of search that occurred is unacceptable. the ONLY people that guy gave permission to search his home were the cops, and they didn't enter. How would you like it, if I showed up with the cops, they flashed their badge and then I went through all your stuff?



    You don’t let them in. Rule of thumb, if you have any doubts, you ask for a warrant or you demand ID from all parties. That’s your right. The police cannot just flash their badges and enter your house without your explicit consent. If you grant them that, that is your fault (outside of deception).



    We don’t know if any deception has happened and I doubt that we will ever know. Caledron has not filed any charges and even if he does, it comes down to a he-said-she-said scenario. A bunch of hearsay that is not enough to hang a case on.
  • Reply 18 of 62
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by diddy View Post


    You don?t let them in. Rule of thumb, if you have any doubts, you ask for a warrant or you demand ID from all parties. That?s your right. The police cannot just flash their badges and enter your house without your explicit consent. If you grant them that, that is your fault (outside of deception)..



    Exactly. If you have any doubt you ask to see badges (yes every badge) and warrants. We all know what happens when you ASSume things.



    If this story was anymore than that, we would have already seen more legal action taken. To include some sort of a get-rich-quick civil suit.
  • Reply 19 of 62
    chris_cachris_ca Posts: 2,543member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sheff View Post


    How can you have "plain clothes" police go out for a search. I am pretty sure they have to have a warrant and be proprely dressed to conduct a search, and certainly cant stand by if someone is conducting a search without warrant.



    "We have reason to believe there is a missing/stolen product from Apple on these premises.

    May we conduct a search?"



    "Yes, of course, Officer."
  • Reply 20 of 62
    mennomenno Posts: 854member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Chris_CA View Post


    "We have reason to believe there is a missing/stolen product from Apple on these premises.

    May we conduct a search?"



    "Yes, of course, Officer."



    which would mean the officers had leave to search the premises, not Apple staff
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