The San Francisco police department this weekend admitted that it did in fact help Apple employees search a Bay-area home for a “lost item,” which most reports say was a missing iPhone 5 prototype.
The “lost iPhone 5″ saga began when CNET reported Wednesday that a prototype of the much-hyped device was lost in a San Francisco bar in late July. What was so strange about the news was that an Apple employee lost an iPhone 4 prototype in a bar last year, and that device ended up being purchased by the gadget blog Gizmodo for $5,000. That story ended up on every corner of net not only because the device was highly sought after but also because it was an unprecedented leak for highly secretive Apple.
CNET’s original report of the missing iPhone 5 said that Apple employees along with San Francisco police searched a two-floor, single-family home in SF’s Bernal Heights neighborhood.
Days later, the story took two strange turns. First, a San Francisco police official said the department had no record of an investigation involving a missing Apple product. Then Sergio Calderón, whose home was searched for the lost iPhone, said six people that claimed to be police but weren’t searched his home. This implied that that Apple investigators could have impersonated police, which is a criminal offense.
On Saturday, San Francisco police issued an official statement that contradicted earlier reports, saying it did in fact aid Apple with an investigation. Apple employees asked to not file a report on the “lost item,” which could explain why the department couldn’t find the record when asked about it on Friday.
The police department’s official statement reads:
After speaking with Apple representatives, we were given information which helped us determine what occurred. It was discovered that Apple employees called Mission Police station directly, wanting assistance in tracking down a lost item. Apple had tracked the lost item to a house located in the 500 block of Anderson Street. Because the address was in the Ingleside Police district Apple employees were referred to Officers in the Ingleside district. Four SFPD Officers accompanied Apple employees to the Anderson street home. The two Apple employees met with the resident and then went into the house to look for the lost item. The Apple employees did not find the lost item and left the house.
The Apple employees did not want to make an official report of the lost item.