The San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) has admitted that it did, in fact, accompany investigators from Apple in hunting down a missing iPhone 5 prototype, despite having previously claimed that it had no involvement with the search. After reports yesterday that a group identifying as SFPD visited the house of a man who was at the bar the device was lost at, questioned him on his family’s immigration status, and conducted a search of his home, car and computer – and which the police initially claimed ignorance over - department spokesperson Lt. Troy Dangerfield has now said that plain-clothes police did go with Apple’s team, SFWeekly reports.
According to Dangerfield, the “three or four” SFPD officers “did not go inside the house” but instead left Apple’s investigators to conduct their search. Sergio Calderón, the man Apple apparently believed had possession of the missing device, has confirmed that only two people entered his home, but says that while they did not specifically claim to be police employees, they also did not explain that they were from Apple’s own team.
“”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.” SFWeekly
Attention has now turned to whether Apple’s investigators did, in fact, represent themselves – or allow themselves to be confused with – SFPD employees. According to Dangerfield, “Apple came to us saying that they were looking for a lost item, and some plainclothes officers responded out to the house with them … My understanding is that they stood outside.” The SFPD’s involvement amounted to having “assisted Apple to the address.”
Apple is still yet to comment on the ongoing saga, which began when an iPhone 5 prototype was reportedly lost or stolen from a Mexican-themed bar last weekend. It’s also unclear why records of the search were not immediately available for the police spokespeople when the story initially emerged; “we don’t have any record of such an investigation going on at this point” the SFPD said on Friday.