Apple staffer posing as police allegedly searched home for missing iPhone prototype

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
The San Francisco Police Department has said it has no record of a formal investigation into yet another missing prototype iPhone. In addition, the man whose home was searched claims people impersonating police offers came into his residence, with evidence suggesting one of the individuals was an Apple-employed "senior investigator" [updated with confirmation of visit from SFPD].



Update: A spokesman for the San Francisco Police Department has now confirmed that police officers were indeed involved in visiting the residence of Sergio Calderón, though he alleges that Apple security officials allowed him to believe that they were also officers when they searched his house.



Local police told San Francisco Weekly they have no record of any police investigation into a lost prototype next-generation iPhone. CNet first claimed on Wednesday that Apple is working with police to recover a missing iPhone prototype allegedly left in a bar in San Francisco's Mission District.



"I don't know who (CNet's) source is, but we don't have any record of any such an investigation going on at this point," San Francisco Police Department spokesman Officer Albie Esparza said.



Esparza went on to share that there are no records of any police visit to Bernal Heights, where the original report claimed officers went to question a man who denied having knowledge of the missing iPhone. Further, there are said to be no records involving the address where police were alleged to have searched for the missing phone.



In a follow-up report, the Bernal Heights man whose home was searched said that six people claiming to be San Francisco Police officers came to his home and allegedly questioned him and searched the premises. They reportedly said they had traced a prototype iPhone to his residence using GPS technology.



"This is something that's going to need to be investigated now," San Francisco Police Department Lt. Troy Dangerfield said, according to the report. "If this guy is saying that people said they were SFPD, that's a big deal."



Sergio Calderon, the 22-year-old Bernal Heights resident, said his home was searched on an evening in July by six people who "threatened" him. He claims four men and two women wearing badges showed up at his door and identified themselves as being with the San Francisco Police Department.



The man said he let the six individuals search his car and his house, and he gave them access to his computer. Calderon said he is an American citizen, but the people who came into his home questioned his citizenship and stated they "were all going to get into trouble."



Calderon said one of the men identified himself as "Tony" and provided a phone number to call if he had further information. When SF Weekly called the number, they reached an Anthony Colon, who reportedly said he is an employee of Apple.



Colon's profile on LinkedIn has since been taken down, but it previously revealed that he is a former San Jose Police sergeant who works as a "senior investigator" at Apple.



Police said they have no record of visiting the bar where another prototype iPhone is claimed to have been lost.



Claims that another iPhone prototype had been lost at a bar came as a surprise this week, as the story is similar to an incident that occurred last year, in which a prototype iPhone 4 was left at a bar. The event caused a media sensation as Gizmodo and its parent company Gawker Media paid $5,000 to obtain the device, which had not yet been publicly announced by Apple.



The two men alleged to have found the prototype iPhone 4 in a separate San Francisco bar last year faces charges of misdemeanor theft. Both of them pleaded not guilty on Thursday, with a trial start date scheduled for November 28.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 193
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    Sounds like a bunch of BS to me.



    Apple knows better than impersonating the police.



    It is remotely possible that a rogue employee would do something illegal, but that's not Apple's fault. It is far more likely, however, that they'll find that the Tony (Apple employee) is not the "Tony" who searched the house.



    Or, even more likely, the entire thing is made up and no one searched anything.
  • Reply 2 of 193
    ktappektappe Posts: 808member
    "If this guy is saying that people said they were SFPD, that's a big deal."



    He's not kidding. If even a fraction of this is true, Apple is in big trouble.



    On the other hand, Sergio Calderon could be lying about the whole incident. But I'm not sure what his motives would be.
  • Reply 3 of 193
    poochpooch Posts: 768member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    "I don't know who (CNet's) source is, but we don't have any record of any such an investigation going on at this point," San Francisco Police Department spokesman Officer Albie Esparza reportedly said.



    [...]



    In a follow-up report, the Bernal Heights man whose home was searched said that six people claiming to be San Francisco Police officers came to his home and allegedly questioned him and searched the premises. They reportedly said they had traced a prototype iPhone to his residence using GPS technology.



    good lord. an sfpd spokesman is now being quoted as "reportedly" having said something?



    and the guy whose domicile was searched says that people came into his home and "allegedly questioned him"?



    is there no way for you alleged journalist-wannabes to confirm anything you put into an "article"?



    i'm going to allegedly start reading appleinsider.com, reportedly.
  • Reply 4 of 193
    I would check on the whereabouts of Gizmodo's staff.
  • Reply 5 of 193
    Could have just been part of REACT - REACT, Rapid Enforcement Allied Computer Team



    Hence not technically SFPD strictly.
  • Reply 6 of 193
    This is a perfect example of why you should never let anyone into your home without calling the police station, with the number in the phonebook, to verify the badge number and location of an officer reputing to have the authority to enter your home. If you have a cell phone or second line, you should also call your lawyer or at least an independent witness to come to the scene immediately.
  • Reply 7 of 193
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,365member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ktappe View Post


    "If this guy is saying that people said they were SFPD, that's a big deal."



    He's not kidding. If even a fraction of this is true, Apple is in big trouble.



    On the other hand, Sergio Calderon could be lying about the whole incident. But I'm not sure what his motives would be.



    Tellingly, he had the number for "Tony" who happens to have been with Apple security, and whose profile has now been removed? Removed for what reason? Certainly suspicious, and lends credence to the man's claim that he was visited by Apple. Certainly smoke in the air. . .
  • Reply 8 of 193
    A story within a story within a story ......
  • Reply 9 of 193
    macrulezmacrulez Posts: 2,455member
    deleted
  • Reply 10 of 193
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,365member
    Here's a saved image of "Tony's" Linkedin profile, removed after the story broke.



    http://forums.macrumors.com/attachme...6&d=1314988362
  • Reply 11 of 193
    kibitzerkibitzer Posts: 1,114member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Pooch View Post


    good lord. an sfpd spokesman is now being quoted as "reportedly" having said something?



    and the guy whose domicile was searched says that people came into his home and "allegedly questioned him"?



    is there no way for you alleged journalist-wannabes to confirm anything you put into an "article"?



    i'm going to allegedly start reading appleinsider.com, reportedly.



    Amen. Totally with you.



    I called BS on the unprofessional reporting of this two days ago and I'm calling it again today. Unless this steaming pile of conjecture can be backed up with something verifiable, Apple's lawyers may well have cause to initiate a legal action for defamation.



    http://www.eff.org/issues/bloggers/l...ity/defamation
  • Reply 12 of 193
    I suspect they were all employees of the "Apple Stoer"[sic] who were deeply interested in getting hold of the lost device.



    Then again, it's probably not too hard to lie to CNET, or to say you work for Apple, or to create a bogus LinkedIn profile, etc.
  • Reply 13 of 193
    So basically, SFPD is now seeking the source of a rumor within another rumor, or is this just another rumor? I'm so confused. lol
  • Reply 14 of 193
    malaxmalax Posts: 1,598member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TheSnarkmeister View Post


    This is a perfect example of why you should never let anyone into your home without calling the police station, with the number in the phonebook, to verify the badge number and location of an officer reputing to have the authority to enter your home. If you have a cell phone or second line, you should also call your lawyer or at least an independent witness to come to the scene immediately.



    You're absolutely right. But take it one step further: without a search warrant don't let them in, period.



    I asked a lawyer friend if I could/should call him if I was ever questioned by the police about something. His answer surprised me. "You don't need an attorney if you're being questioned. They'll tell you the same thing I'm telling you right now: don't say anything; don't answer any questions; period."
  • Reply 15 of 193
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,365member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Kibitzer View Post


    Amen. Totally with you.



    I called BS on the unprofessional reporting of this two days ago and I'm calling it again today. Unless this steaming pile of conjecture can be backed up with something verifiable, Apple's lawyers may well have cause to initiate a legal action for defamation.



    http://www.eff.org/issues/bloggers/l...ity/defamation



    It would not be the first time that Apple Security has accompanied police officer's in an official (unofficial?) investigation. If there was nothing Apple had to hide, there would be no reason for their Senior Investigator to pull his profile today would there?
  • Reply 16 of 193
    tulkastulkas Posts: 3,757member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


    Sounds like a bunch of BS to me.



    Apple knows better than impersonating the police.



    It is remotely possible that a rogue employee would do something illegal, but that's not Apple's fault. It is far more likely, however, that they'll find that the Tony (Apple employee) is not the "Tony" who searched the house.



    Or, even more likely, the entire thing is made up and no one searched anything.



    I was going to post something about waiting to hear what some people would be willing to say to excuse this intrusion (if it was true). I see we didn't have to wait long.



    Sorry Joe, but corporate security searching a private residence is bullshit, no matter how much you try to butter it. If the employee did it as a part of his job, then he isn't a 'rogue' employee. If this is true, Apple is going to be paying through the ass for the invasion of this guys home. And yes, I use the word invasion intentionally.



    There are a lot of holes in the story, true. What would make you feel better? if someone bought the device and put picture online as proof? I seem to recall you vilifying Giz over that repeatedly and constantly.
  • Reply 17 of 193
    macrulezmacrulez Posts: 2,455member
    deleted
  • Reply 18 of 193
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Kibitzer;


    Amen. Totally with you.



    I called BS on the unprofessional reporting of this two days ago and I'm calling it again today. Unless this steaming pile of conjecture can be backed up with something verifiable, Apple's lawyers may well have cause to initiate a legal action for defamation.



    http://www.eff.org/issues/bloggers/l...ity/defamation



    What? They are reporting the story. What the victim is saying, what the SFPD are saying and what Apple is not saying. When news breaks, you report it. You have to use the pat terms to make sure you are not falsely accusing anyone and to make clear that what is being reported is only what is being said You sir need a clue.
  • Reply 19 of 193
    modemode Posts: 163member
    If this is true... wow. No amount of PR would save Apple from the resulting fallout.

    Apple was already caught red handed tracking people's movements and gathering the data without them knowing - so maybe they are brazen enough to impersonate police.



    - those who believe the BS PR that it was a programing 'glitch', I suggest you read up on the trial briefings. It was no glitch.
  • Reply 20 of 193
    flaneurflaneur Posts: 4,526member
    Seems Applezilla has the most likely call here so far. Probably a setup by somebody to create some bad Apple news, not necessarily Gizmodo, though.



    Gatorguy, check your swallow reflex.



    Edit: Looks like Gatorguy has plenty of company here. People, we know nothing about this. Most likely explanation is that it's a hoax to embarrass. Least likely that Apple is sending out cop impersonators.



    Applezilla's post is #8.
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