The San Francisco PD is now saying that Apple investigators were accompanied by three or four plain clothed officers, reports SF Weekly. The SFPD had previously told the publication that they were uninvolved in the investigation. This led the publication to draw the conclusion that Apple’s investigators may have impersonated police in order to gain access to a man’s home who was suspected of taking an iPhone prototype from a bar.
Now, a police representative, Lt. Troy Dangerfield, says that police did acompany the investigators to the mans home, although the police did not enter the home and the Apple investigators did.
Dangerfield says that, after conferring with Apple and the captain of the Ingleside police station, he has learned that plainclothes SFPD officers went with private Apple detectives to the home of Sergio Calderón, a 22-year-old resident of Bernal Heights. According to Dangerfield, the officers “did not go inside the house,” but stood outside while the Apple employees scoured Calderón’s home, car, and computer files for any trace of the lost iPhone 5. The phone was not found, and Calderón denies that he ever possessed it.
The thing is, there is still some confusion about who actually entered the man’s home, and whether they were identified as Apple investigators. No warrant seems to have been issued or requested by the man, but he insists that he believed the people searching his home were SFPD.
“When they came to my house, they said they were SFPD,” Calderón said.”I thought they were SFPD. That’s why I let them in.” He said he would not have permitted the search if he had been aware the two people conducting it were not actually police officers.
At least one of the investigators was identified as an Anthony Colon, an ex-cop that is employed as a “Senior Investigator” by Apple. Yesterday, the SFPD denied having any involvement in the search for the lost phone.
According to Cnet, the phone apparently turned up on Craigslist, where it may have been sold for about $200. No details about the device are available either.
Apple is notoriously protective of iPhone prototypes, enclosing them in special containers for antenna testing, shrouding them in cases that obscure their shape when in public and testing new internal components in casings that mimic older iPhone designs.