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Police Confirms They “Assisted” Apple In Lost iPhone 5 Search

According to a new update from SF Weekly, San Francisco Police Department spokesman Lt. Troy Dangerfield has confirmed that four SFPD officers "assisted" two Apple investigators in searching the house and car of Sergio Calderòn for an allegedly lost iPhone 5 prototype.

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.

In a contradicting report posted earlier today, SF Weekly claimed that Apple personnel may have posed as police officers in an effort of searching the man's house for a phone located through GPS signal, but never restored. Calderòn told SF Weekly in an exclusive interview that six badge-wearing individuals came to his place at around 6 PM, but didn't identified as being employed by Apple. One man, who identified himself as "Tony", gave Calderòn his phone number. The number was later associated to Anthony Colon, an investigator employed by Apple whose LinkedIn profile was subsequently deleted from the social networking website.

The visitors also allegedly threatened him and his family, asking questions about their immigration status. "One of the officers is like, 'Is everyone in this house an American citizen?' They said we were all going to get into trouble," Calderón said.

Calderòn says he was under the impression that they were all police officers, as the two people who searched his place were part of a group who stood outside and identified themselves as SFPD officials. Whereas a first report indicated SFPD had no records of such investigation, the fact that SFPD sent "plainclothes" officers with badges may check out with today's update.

Yesterday:

There's just one problem: SFPD spokesman Officer Albie Esparza says no records exist of any such activity by SFPD inspectors.

"I talked to CNET" reporter Declan McCullagh, Esparza tells SF Weekly. "I don't know who his source is, but we don't have any record of any such an investigation going on at this point.

Today:

Contradicting past statements that no records exist of police involvement in the search for the lost prototype, San Francisco Police Department spokesman Lt. Troy Dangerfield now tells SF Weekly that "three or four" SFPD officers accompanied two Apple security officials in an unusual search of a Bernal Heights man's home.

Dangerfield said he plans to contact Calderòn for further questions about the incident. As it's unclear who knocked on Calderòn's door, and how the six individuals identified themselves prior to entering the man's house, SFPD needs to investigate the situation -- as pointed out by SF Weekly, impersonation of a police officer is a misdemeanor in California with up to a year of a jail time.

CNET was first to report on a second iPhone prototype lost in a bar, after last year's leak of an iPhone 4 unit to Gawker Media's technology blog Gizmodo months ahead of the device's release. So far, Apple hasn't commented on the story.

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