Friday, October 28, 2011

Apple contacts man whose home was searched by Apple employees in 'latest' lost iPhone case

Apple has begun discussions with the man whose home was searched by Apple security personnel who were searching for a missing, unreleased iPhone. The man, Sergio Calderon, 22, has hired attorney David Monroe in the matter.

As we reported earlier, for the second consecutive year, an Apple employee lost a prototype iPhone in a San Francisco Bay Area bar. This time, the employee lost the device at the Cava22 tequila bar in San Francisco.

Police accompanied a two-person Apple "security team" to Calderon's home, after Apple security told the authorities they had tracked the device to that location. Calderon previously said that at no time did the actual police inform him that the two Apple employees were not actually police [The SFPD has begun an investigation into the matter].

What the police DID do is stand outside while the Apple investigators searched the premises and reportedly questioned his immigration status (he is a citizen) in what might be interpreted as an intimidation tactic.

While Monroe did not elaborate on the conversations Apple has had with him or his client, he did say that although police did not have a search warrant, they did facilitate the search by the Apple team by telling Calderon they would obtain a warrant if he didn't submit to a search voluntarily.

Monroe said his client is not guilty of any wrongdoing, and added that he believes the SFPD acted improperly when they failed to identify the Apple employees as such.

Monroe said, We want to help them find out if their rules were broken. The real problem here is that police failed to disclose to my client that Apple employees would be searching his home. We don't know how often this may happen. I think it was [SFPD Chief Greg Suhr] who indicated that police often do searches like this for private investigators."

Monroe is correct. Suhr earlier did say that to the San Francisco Chronicle.

We'd have to say, tongue planted somewhat in cheek, that Apple has to take a lot of the blame here. This is the second iPhone prototype lost in about 18 months, with both of them being left in bars.

In March 2010, Gray Powell, an Apple QA engineer, lost a prototype iPhone 4 in Redwood City, Calif. Just three weeks ago, the two men who found that phone and later sold the device to gadget blog Gizmodo, pleaded no contest to theft charges, receiving minimal sentences.

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