First reported by SF Weekly, it’s come to light Apple investigators looking for a lost iPhone prototype might’ve impersonated SF police officers to search the Bernal Heights home of Sergio Calderon. A family member tells us that at least three members of the team that searched the home flashed badges.
The San Francisco Police Department has no record of the search. Sergio Calderon is the man believed to be the suspect in a CNET story claiming a next-gen iPhone prototype was lost in a bar and possibly sold on Craigslist for $US200.
Further, the police department has been unable to secure any information from Apple about the missing iPhone prototype — he department has received no cooperation from Apple.
SF Weekly reported that six officials showed up at Calderon’s home, one of whom is confirmed to be an Apple employee — Anthony Colon, a Senior Investigator for the company. A family member who was present during the search told us that at least three members of the security team that searched the house had flashed badges and seemed like police officers. The team with badges consisted of two women and one man.
As reported by CNET in their original article, the team was allowed to search the house and Sergio’s computer for any information about the missing iPhone, after it was traced to the home with GPS. When that search turned up nothing they concluded that the iPhone wasn’t there and said that it “doesn’t look like it was.”
If the security team at any time represented themselves as SFPD, they’re in for a heap of trouble if Sergio files charges. Until that happens, the police can’t investigate.
Update: I spoke to Officer Alan Byard of the San Francisco Patrol Special Police to inquire if they were working with Apple during the investigation of the missing iPhone prototype, or were present during the search of Sergio Calderon’s home. Alan told me that they were not working with Apple and were not involved in the search of the house.
The San Francisco Patrol Special Police is a neighborhood police force authorised by the San Francisco city charter. The privately paid force wears uniforms, carries weapons and uses SFPD two-way radios.
Update 2: In a bizarre reversal of earlier statements, the SFPD has informed the SFWeekly that officers did accompany Apple’s security team to Sergio Calderon’s house.
According to Officer Dangerfield, “three or four” plainclothes officers did in fact take part. But, the officers did not enter Calderon’s home with the Apple security team.