SFPD requests bar surveillance footage for lost iPhone 5 case

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Officers from the San Francisco Police Department have asked for permission to review the surveillance footage at a bar where an Apple employee allegedly left a prototype of the company's fifth-generation smartphone.



Jose Valle, whose family owns the Cava 22 bar and restaurant where the device was misplaced, told CNet that SFPD representatives recently visited the establishment with a request to see surveillance video from July 21 and 22 as part of their "lost iPhone case." Valle said he has tried to share the video with investigators, but they have yet to follow up.



He was doubtful that the video footage from Cava 22 would shed much light on what happened to the missing handset. He operates six cameras throughout the bar, but they are set up only to record images approximately every three minutes. Also, some parts of the bar are not well lit, making it unlikely that details from the footage will be sufficiently clear.



According to Lt. Troy Dangerfield, a spokesman for the department, the request for footage is most likely part of an internal probe into officers' handling of a visit to a residence in connection with the lost prototype. After an Apple employee apparently left the device at Cava22 in late July, the company subsequently tracked the prototype to a nearby residence and contacted the police for help in recovering it.



Credit: Greg Sandoval/CNet.



SFPD has experienced some confusion over the issue, as it first claimed that no officers had accompanied Apple security officials to the address. But, the department now says that plainclothes officers went with the iPhone maker's employees to the residence, but did not go inside.



22-year-old Sergio Calderón, the resident at the address in question, alleged that he was threatened by the officers, adding that he would not have allowed the search if he had known the men were Apple employees. Calderón said earlier this month that he had talked to an attorney about the issue, though SFPD said he has yet to file a complaint.



Dangerfield confirmed that no criminal investigation has been opened for the lost device, as Apple has yet to file a police report.



Apple is expected to unveil the next-generation iPhone on Oct. 4. According to one report on Sunday, Apple will hold a media event on its Cupertino campus to announced the device.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 42
    Quote:

    He operates six cameras throughout the bar, but they are set up only to record images approximately every three minutes.



    That can hardly be called 'footage', then. Maybe yardage, but not footage.
  • Reply 2 of 42
    Can't these prototypes be fitted internally with a harmless radioactive material that can be tracked by satellites or ground equipment that would still be functional after the device was powered off and that wouldn't affect the electronics of the device? Or am I just making stuff up that doesn't yet exist in the year 2011?
  • Reply 3 of 42
    Plain stupid, in France just rumors of lost intellectual property to chinese companies made heads rolls, French government went full rage against China even without any concrete proof, in the end we all learned that it was only a rumor.



    Apple is competing with two cartels that will do anything to kill iPhone and they keep losing the thing.



    Just stupid.
  • Reply 4 of 42
    The request is 'most likely'???



    I would think that a police spokesperson would find out if they did ask and why before speaking. Or give a 'cannot speak about active investigations' brush off.



    Frankly this seems more and more to me to be a huge con game and the SFPD are also victims. A couple of sites already suggested that this bar is behind it all for the press. Including setting up a fake linked in profile saying a guy works for Apple in security and then taking it down just after the blogs would have verified the name. Calling the cops and asking for help to retrieve a phone is not out of line, cops can do such escorts to be there in case someone takes a swing etc. This Sergio claiming he was told they were all cops and that someone threatened him, when in fact nothing of the kind happened. The confusion about them going to the house could be because the initial request could be because the 'employees' never said it was a prototype but the sites asked about that specifically, so anyone doing a search for iPhone prototype would get zero hits.



    Three details in particular stand out.



    1. Apple wouldn't wait a day plus. They would assume that anyone with the phone would post the details, erase it etc. And after last year any employee with a field test unit is probably under rules to be hyperaware of where the phone is. And they probably have all of them on one 'find my iphone' list that someone checks hourly and if anything seems off, they send a call back message to the phones to make sure the right folks have them.



    2. Where are the photos etc? The phone was in the wild for a good day. Any site out there knows the real mistake Gizmodo made was admitting they had the phone in their possession. They should have left their hands etc out of the videos and just said 'sources have provided us with' so they could hide behind shield laws.



    3. The bar has security cameras that conveniently only take photos in poorly lit areas and only every three minutes. And the police apparently asked nicely to see those photos. Sorry, but if this was a legit investigation, they show up with a warrant and walk out with what they want. Not to mention simply why would they need the footage. How would it prove anything other than Sergio was at the bar, which he admitted. It doesn't prove what was said at his house or even if the people really worked for Apple.



    Yes perhaps the blog version is all true and Apple Security has some trumped up worms in their midst. But it still seems equally possible that this bar owner saw a chance to get some major press and set up the profile etc to pad the story. Perhaps the SFPD pissed him off and he wants to make them look bad if he can, thus why his buddy Sergio is saying things about lies and threats.



    Who knows at this point. The only truth so far seems to be that the bar is getting a lot of attention with the photos and the name dropping. I'm surprised no one has mentioned their new drink menu etc





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ochyming View Post


    Apple is competing with two cartels that will do anything to kill iPhone and they keep losing the thing.



    Just stupid.



    There's no real proof an Apple employee was at said bar at all, much less one with an iPhone prototype that was perhaps lost. If the SFPD wants the footage perhaps it is to verify anyone from Apple was there.



    Also there is no proof that the iPhone 4 was 'lost' versus Mr Hogan seeing someone slip their iPhone into a jacket pocket etc and he picked said pocket for a free phone. He told Gizmodo he figured out something was up when he tried to restore the phone- which is done to wipe out any possible tracking software. And then apparently he roamed around the phone, got the Facebook log in etc. Even his roommates claim he was bragging about snatching himself a free iPhone when he got home, perhaps they aren't lying about that
  • Reply 5 of 42
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by charlituna View Post


    Who knows at this point. The only truth so far seems to be that the bar is getting a lot of attention with the photos and the name dropping. I'm surprised no one has mentioned their new drink menu etc



    Hasn't it been about 3 months since the alleged incident occurred? Seems like a long time to wait to request footage.



    I'm half-thinking of opening up my own Irish pub right outside the new spaceship campus. I'll call it Bowen's and have a drink called the prototype. I'll even have a vacuum tube system where lost phones can be sent right back to Apple HQ immediately.
  • Reply 6 of 42
    With the cost of camera equipment and digital storage I'd think a decent bar would have a more useful system. Don't they have low cost solutions that use IR to take quality B/W video for areas with low light, like a bar?
  • Reply 7 of 42
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    ...have a drink called the prototype...



    The Prototype: You'll be amazed after the first sip, but it'll leave you feeling incomplete.



    The Powell: A mix of beverages scientifically designed to make you as forgetful as possible.



    The Ballmer: Warning! Drinkers are prone to outbursts of repetition.



    The Ive: Served in a non-reflective, transparent glass on an anodized aluminum base. You can only tell the glass is there when there's a drink in it.



    The RDF: We only serve you one. And only if you've not had anything else to drink tonight. It's that strong. Warning! Side effects include strong belief in whatever you hear immediately after consumption.
  • Reply 8 of 42
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,946member
    The repeat fiasco just boggles me. I've had mobile phones for about a decade, and I've never left (or had stolen) even a $50 phone or an iPhone anywhere, never mind a priceless prototype that you shouldn't risk falling into the hands of a competitor or a news/tabloid site. Also, I'd think this person would have learned vicariously from last year's incident to take extra precautions.
  • Reply 9 of 42
    According to police reports, the perpetrator was last observed leaving the bar wearing a t-shirt which investigators have been able to determine looked like this:







    The SFPD has also turned to the public for help in tracking down the suspect and anybody who knows the whereabouts of people wearing such t-shirts are encouraged to immediately call 555-899-1212 to report this suspicious activity.
  • Reply 10 of 42
    That's a cool shirt actually. It's funny how newer variations of the Android bot is looking more like a martian than a droid.
  • Reply 11 of 42
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    Can't these prototypes be fitted internally with a harmless radioactive material that can be tracked by satellites or ground equipment that would still be functional after the device was powered off and that wouldn't affect the electronics of the device? Or am I just making stuff up that doesn't yet exist in the year 2011?



    Your making junk up (at least the first suggestion anyway).



    They could in theory use the NFC chip in it (assuming it has one), to send out an identifier when scanned or probed. If it had that, then standing in the centre of the apartment and sending out a reasonably sized pulse of EM radiation should make the phone stand up and identify itself but you'd still probably have to be very close to "hear" it.



    They could build a routine into the firmware that allowed it to actually power up and email Apple headquarters when it's scanned, but users would likely see this as very intrusive and rude. A giant pulse over San Francisco for instance would make every phone in the city identify itself and it's location. While the secret police would certainly love this functionality, most users would see it as a negative.



    A smart person could simply remove the battery anyway and stop any of this from happening except the initial identification coming from the NFC chip, which again, you'd have to be vey close (inches) to "hear."
  • Reply 12 of 42
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    With the cost of camera equipment and digital storage I'd think a decent bar would have a more useful system. Don't they have low cost solutions that use IR to take quality B/W video for areas with low light, like a bar?



    I am pretty sure that the main problem for retail surveillance is actually the storage of the footage and the maintenance of that storage relative to the fact that the "return" on surveillance footage is close to zero.



    Rarely if ever, does the footage actually have to be retrieved or even watched, the threat of the surveillance system itself is the deterrent, and only in the case of actual crimes or legal disputes would it ever have to be accessed. So for the pub owner it's just an expense that doesn't actually give them much in return and therefore costs are to be minimised if possible.



    For that reason, the systems are cheap and require no maintenance and generally just quietly record to a hard drive somewhere in the back. If they use video, even black and white video, it ups the storage requirement and requires the user to either have copious hard drive space (and back-ups), or to worry about archiving material etc.



    Small frame grabs every few seconds serve the minimal requirements of the system while taking up almost no space and can generally be left alone for long periods of time without worrying about back-ups, changing hard drives, etc.
  • Reply 13 of 42
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,360member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post


    Small frame grabs every few seconds serve the minimal requirements of the system while taking up almost no space and can generally be left alone for long periods of time without worrying about back-ups, changing hard drives, etc.



    Nobody's expecting a surveillance system to employ RED 4k cameras shooting 120 FPS, but 1 frame every 3 minutes?



    Somebody could go in there, rob the whole joint, massacre 17 people, rape 3 women and the camera wouldn't even capture any of it.
  • Reply 14 of 42
    swiftswift Posts: 436member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ochyming View Post


    Plain stupid, in France just rumors of lost intellectual property to chinese companies made heads rolls, French government went full rage against China even without any concrete proof, in the end we all learned that it was only a rumor.



    Apple is competing with two cartels that will do anything to kill iPhone and they keep losing the thing.



    Just stupid.



    Cartels?
  • Reply 15 of 42
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post


    Nobody's expecting a surveillance system to employ RED 4k cameras shooting 120 FPS, but 1 frame every 3 minutes?



    Somebody could go in there, rob the whole joint, massacre 17 people, rape 3 women and the camera wouldn't even capture any of it.



    I don't know about the rape part, but yeah, a lot of crime could be committed in three minutes.



    Personally, I would have infrared HD cameras that were not only constantly filming, but also hidden. The bar and restaurant owners however, usually just buy a system off of someone.
  • Reply 16 of 42
    These guys are fast! No wonder I never see them on The First 48.
  • Reply 17 of 42
    Neve rmind...
  • Reply 18 of 42
    swiftswift Posts: 436member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post


    I am pretty sure that the main problem for retail surveillance is actually the storage of the footage and the maintenance of that storage relative to the fact that the "return" on surveillance footage is close to zero.



    Rarely if ever, does the footage actually have to be retrieved or even watched, the threat of the surveillance system itself is the deterrent, and only in the case of actual crimes or legal disputes would it ever have to be accessed. So for the pub owner it's just an expense that doesn't actually give them much in return and therefore costs are to be minimised if possible.



    For that reason, the systems are cheap and require no maintenance and generally just quietly record to a hard drive somewhere in the back. If they use video, even black and white video, it ups the storage requirement and requires the user to either have copious hard drive space (and back-ups), or to worry about archiving material etc.



    Small frame grabs every few seconds serve the minimal requirements of the system while taking up almost no space and can generally be left alone for long periods of time without worrying about back-ups, changing hard drives, etc.



    But the cops on TV solve crimes all the time by looking at the surveillance footage!



    Well, they want to see it for some reason. Maybe they know what they'd be looking for. When did so-and-so leave? Who did he come in with? Any detail that contradicted what they told you could be part of interrogating a witness. Oh, so why did you lie when you said--



    Kind of useless to speculate whether they have something to learn here when we don't know what they want to find out.



    Personally, I'd rather have these cheap premises cameras than some elaborate video. Less police state-y.
  • Reply 19 of 42
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Swift View Post


    But the cops on TV solve crimes all the time by looking at the surveillance footage!



    "Okay, between this still image here and this one three minutes later, the iPhone disappearance happened."



    "Let's enhance the top right of the image at the time right between these two."



    "Uh, sir? We can't do that. This isn't video; we only have these two images over this three minute period."



    "DON'T TELL ME WHAT WE CAN AND CAN'T DO! ENHANCE!"



    "Sir, it's just not physically possible!"



    "Get out of the way!"



    *montage of typing shots, some illustrating that the screen is so bright, the code (which eagle-eyed viewers find to be some simple JavaScript) is actually being projected onto the boss' face*



    "Done."



    *Screen shows an image of the bar extrapolating people's positions in the bar 1.5 minutes after the first shot and 1.5 images before the third. A blurry guy is seen to be reaching into the pocket of a drunken guy at the bar*



    "Now, ENHANCE THAT!"



    *Various zooming levels. A square of nine pixels enhances to reveal a 10 megapixel image of…*



    "GRAY POWELL?!"



  • Reply 20 of 42
    tulkastulkas Posts: 3,733member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by charlituna View Post


    The request is 'most likely'???



    I would think that a police spokesperson would find out if they did ask and why before speaking. Or give a 'cannot speak about active investigations' brush off.



    Frankly this seems more and more to me to be a huge con game and the SFPD are also victims. A couple of sites already suggested that this bar is behind it all for the press. Including setting up a fake linked in profile saying a guy works for Apple in security and then taking it down just after the blogs would have verified the name. Calling the cops and asking for help to retrieve a phone is not out of line, cops can do such escorts to be there in case someone takes a swing etc. This Sergio claiming he was told they were all cops and that someone threatened him, when in fact nothing of the kind happened. The confusion about them going to the house could be because the initial request could be because the 'employees' never said it was a prototype but the sites asked about that specifically, so anyone doing a search for iPhone prototype would get zero hits.



    Three details in particular stand out.



    1. Apple wouldn't wait a day plus. They would assume that anyone with the phone would post the details, erase it etc. And after last year any employee with a field test unit is probably under rules to be hyperaware of where the phone is. And they probably have all of them on one 'find my iphone' list that someone checks hourly and if anything seems off, they send a call back message to the phones to make sure the right folks have them.



    2. Where are the photos etc? The phone was in the wild for a good day. Any site out there knows the real mistake Gizmodo made was admitting they had the phone in their possession. They should have left their hands etc out of the videos and just said 'sources have provided us with' so they could hide behind shield laws.



    3. The bar has security cameras that conveniently only take photos in poorly lit areas and only every three minutes. And the police apparently asked nicely to see those photos. Sorry, but if this was a legit investigation, they show up with a warrant and walk out with what they want. Not to mention simply why would they need the footage. How would it prove anything other than Sergio was at the bar, which he admitted. It doesn't prove what was said at his house or even if the people really worked for Apple.



    Yes perhaps the blog version is all true and Apple Security has some trumped up worms in their midst. But it still seems equally possible that this bar owner saw a chance to get some major press and set up the profile etc to pad the story. Perhaps the SFPD pissed him off and he wants to make them look bad if he can, thus why his buddy Sergio is saying things about lies and threats.



    Who knows at this point. The only truth so far seems to be that the bar is getting a lot of attention with the photos and the name dropping. I'm surprised no one has mentioned their new drink menu etc









    There's no real proof an Apple employee was at said bar at all, much less one with an iPhone prototype that was perhaps lost. If the SFPD wants the footage perhaps it is to verify anyone from Apple was there.



    Also there is no proof that the iPhone 4 was 'lost' versus Mr Hogan seeing someone slip their iPhone into a jacket pocket etc and he picked said pocket for a free phone. He told Gizmodo he figured out something was up when he tried to restore the phone- which is done to wipe out any possible tracking software. And then apparently he roamed around the phone, got the Facebook log in etc. Even his roommates claim he was bragging about snatching himself a free iPhone when he got home, perhaps they aren't lying about that



    Dude, seriously, you are the only person that still thinks this is a hoax by te bar owner.
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