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back to article Apple's ex-cop and the case of the lost iPhone 5

Update: This story has been updated to reflect that the SFPD has apparently changed its story about the iPhone 5 search. The San Francisco Police Department has told a local paper that plainclothes police accompanied two Apple security officials to the home of a local man in search of a lost iPhone 5 prototype. According to SF …

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Facepalm

There were police, it seems...

The SFPD now says officers "assisted" the Apple people, but didn't go into the house to search it.

http://blogs.sfweekly.com/thesnitch/2011/09/iphone_5_apple_police.php

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Unhappy

Even if SFPD were present and did not enter the home

The people from Apple who spoke to the perp claimed to be SFPD but were not SFPD.

Can I, as a regular Joe here in London, walk around claiming to be Met Police because there's some wooden top standing behind me? No.

So still looks like Apple are going around claiming to be SFPD, which is apparently a crime. I won't hold my breath waiting for the charges to be brought against the fruit company, however.

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Anonymous Coward

Totally agree...

The cops probably git offered iphone 5's to turn a blind eye.

Apple obviously have delusions of grandeur and importance now. One of the many reasons I'll never buy anything with Apple on it - with the exception of perhaps early Beatles records.....

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Stop

Technicalities

If the witness can't confirm that the Apple employees unambiguously identified themselves as police, it's going to be a tough case to make.

Not to worry, though; the PC Magazine article says there are plenty of other things they can be charged with. Unlawful entry, extortion, and fraud, for a start.

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Alert

Posing as an official?

It's more or less what the RSPCA do. Their "inspectors" have no more powers than any other member of the public, but the police will detain people for the RSPCA to question. All very cosy.

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Headmaster

Pedantry Alert

Early Beatles were on EMI. Only the later ones are on the Apple label.

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Always an out

They could have easily said they were "with the SFPD" implying they were officers but in court they can easily say they meant that the SFPD came with them and were outside enjoying a donut. Why wait in the car? That way they can't run afoul of the Constitution since it was an unlawful search and all. What Apple might not realize that the Fourth Amendment is not limited in the same manner as the First Amendment is and therefore even Apple would need a warrant to conduct a search. That said, it will, as always, come down to a "he said, she said" situation. My advice is to always keep a video camera handy and use the words that will undoubtedly be used on you; "it shouldn't be a problem if you've got nothing to hide, right?"

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Re:Technicalities

So, do private citizens have a right to carry out searches on the homes of other private citizens in SF? If the plod stayed outside that means that Apple rent-a-twats performed the search.

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Pedantry Alert 2

Parlophone specifically.

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Anonymous Coward

Don't fret

Apple Corp of the Beatles variety != Apple Computer.

The former sued the later.

I think it's where Apple (later) seem to think they can sue anyone about the term "App Store" from.

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FAIL

Keep on printing the stories boys

As clearly that's what all this about, building hype about a future product launch.

Fucking lame of apple trying this.

Even lamer that El-Reg falls for it.

Best bet, ignore all this stupid press frenzy bullshit reporting.

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Boffin

Best Option of all is

Never, under any circumstances get an iPhone. They are fashion accessories, not primarily pieces of technology. Yes, they do smartphone things, but that is not what they are for. The great thing about Android is that it is sold as a (hopefully) reasonably priced smartphone the first purpose of which is to be a smartphone that can do stuff.

So my smartphone can't run iTunes? It can run Android marketplace and Amazons too if I want.

I can't run FaceTime? I can run Skype which has a bigger audience of phones and computers.

It hasn't got the iPhone slick interface? That is nothing special, just very well hyped.

I have never felt the need to hack my Android - I might when I get my new contract in a couple of months. I may fiddle with the old one to see what I have been missing but I have been able to do all that I wanted with it until now. I even managed to duplicate the Iphone connectivity experience by going into a lift while talking on the phone. Once the metal doors closed and we went down, it dropped the call - just like an Apple phone!

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Angel

@Barry Shitpeas

DORK

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Yep

This is all crap.

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@Barry Shitpeas: illegal activity?

Er, aren't you missing the point? Surely even in the good ol' US of A it is illegal to impersonate a police officer? And doing so to gain illegal entry to someone's home and threaten the residence is surely an agrevating factor?

What on earth were the SFPD officers thinking when they agreed to go along with this? With the Apple guys handing out a phone number this was always going to come out.

And it doesn't say much for whatever GPS tracking is in the phone if Apple went to the wrong house.

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Anonymous Coward

@Barry

You clearly hate everything about Apple, yet you continually keep posting about them?

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WTF?

So many downvotes?

It's official - the fanbois have invaded the reg's comments.

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Mushroom

Don't need to be a fanboi

.. to realise when someone's comments are complete ball-cocks.

Haters gonna hate.

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FAIL

re: Best Option of all is

Anyone thats into technology knows not to buy Apple products.

Anyone that's into fashion only knows about Apple products.

I laugh at the Apple adverts that proudly claim, only Iphone comes with iTunes.. Is that supposed to make people want it?????

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PJI
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FAIL

Double bluff called

I'm "into technology" if you mean working and developing in it. Lots of colleagues do buy Apple kit, just because they know and understand technology.

But I suspect you mean just "interested as a hobby", so just following the usual, uninformed, "popular = bad" fashion.

Take a risk, learn UNIX and get an Apple computer. The risk is, you would have to eat your words.

I am not slagging off Linux, Windows, Free BSD or whatever fetish takes your fantasy.

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Anonymous Coward

Fashion accessory that changed the world

Look at the first Android prototypes and the original beta SDKs. Google was originally trying to make something similar to a circa-2007 Blackberry or Motorola Q. So next time you're using your Android's nice touch interface on its nice big touchscreen, you can thank Apple for making the fashion accessory that inspired it.

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WTF?

Why?

Why would I want to spend 2 times more than the computer is actually worth (not what Apple says it is worth) just to run UNIX? I can do that on a much more powerful but cheaper system.

Wher do I get my 2 times figure? I just built a Core i7 gaming rig for £900 including a full copy (not OEM) of Windows 7. No cheap parts were used. Out of curiosity I configured an iMac as well as I could ( it didn't come close - it still didn't have things the custom rig does like bluetooth, USB 3 and a bluray player) on the Apple store. Total price? just under £2000. Now I didn't include a monitor with my new rig but having just saved £1100 and got a better machine than any Apple offering I could buy any IPS LED backlit monitor I choose and still have enough change to buy another computer, or a cheap second hand car. I didn't even bother seeing how much a specced up Mac Pro would be.

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Trollface

First Android prototypes

http://android.gopego.com/spaw2/uploads/images/android-ui.jpg

Oh and the 0.9 Beta SDK:

http://www.cellphonehits.net/uploads/2008/08/android_09.jpg

So we can thank Apple for ...changing the Applications button/slider at the bottom a bit?

Wow.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Why?

You clearly didn't spend much time researching Macs. They have all come standard with Bluetooth for years. Also, a monitor that's comparable to the 27" iMac's costs at least $1000 and that's in the US, where electronics are typically cheaper. So the price difference between your "gaming rig" and the iMac might not be as big as you expected.

Ultimately though people pay Apple's profit margins to use OS X which is very nice, but I'm sure you want to justify your recent purchase of a PC to yourself and will argue that Windows 7 can do everything OS X does, etc. etc.

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@AC, rip off USA

"Also, a monitor that's comparable to the 27" iMac's costs at least $1000 and that's in the US, where electronics are typically cheaper."

Do more Googling. They're about £490 from Hazro (IPS too!). Shows how much of a rip off Apple are who charge about twice that for something no better.

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Mushroom

Fetish?

Maybe I have a fetish for those, My laptop triple boots Apple OS 10.5, Linux Mint 11, And windows 7.

I enjoy using all of them. Oh and " Take a risk, learn UNIX and get an Apple computer. The risk is, you would have to eat your words ", FreeBSD is Unix and is at the core of Apple OS, Linux is a UNIX Like system and Windows is Windows, we all need a change sometime.

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FAIL

Or...

Buy a copy of OSX if you want it that badly, hackintosh it and still save shedloads of cash.

You obviously don't research prices much as I can get a 27" IPS monitor for around £500

And I don't have to justify anything as I paid the best prices possible and got exactly what I wanted. What needs justifying is spending more to get less and that is the category Apple fans fall into.

And yes, Windows 7 does do everything that OSX does and more besides.

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FAIL

That is just rubbish

You are kidding, right? Have you ever used an iPhone? I'm not here to bag Android (I quite like it) but I've been in IT for 12 years and I can remote manage Windows servers on my iPhone. That's just one example of what makes it a primary piece of technology. The hardware is superior to *anything else*, and the OS is on par with Android in most respects (I think iOS has some catching up to do) but iOS also doesnt suffer the horrible horrible bugs that Android does, AND there are A1 class apps available on the iphone, but you wouldn't know that since you don't use one. I just cant stand ignorant statements such as 'they are not a primary piece of technology'. 'They are a fashion accessory'. You are a fool intent on spreading your foolishness to others. Shame on you.

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Facepalm

Woah.

Well, with this kind of stuff I guess the DA will just *have* to start a criminal investigation against Apple.

Next: iPhone 5 lost on plane during rendition flight of a truculent employee. Film at 11.

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"We're with the police"

Well, technically, I guess that's true.

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Illegal search?

"The six searched his home for the unnamed device and offered him $300 for it, but he told them he did not have it."

I would have asked for a search warrant and until they had one, there will be no search.

As soon as they offered him money, it was quite evident that they were not police officers.

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True value

The $300 was Apple admitting how much their iphone 5 was actually worth, anyone who pays more than that in the future is a sucker :P

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True value?

I would say even $300 is too much. Since I guess it is the only one in the wild, it has to go for a premium. That would put the real true value at $100 to $150.

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Mushroom

they don't need a warrant

All they need is reasonable suspicion that the device is there. It used to be probable cause but the Supremes have even watered that down. So if you say that the police can't come in without a warrant you now you are interfering with a Peace officer in the performance of their duty. The Police are also know to kill peoples dogs and cats because they were " a threat to the officer".

Sadly standing up for you civil rights in the U.S. is dangerous to your health and freedom. And don't even think about filming them to protect yourself.

AC to protect myself.

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But...

The police were outside, it was private individuals searching the home. Whomever has the prototype should send it to their senator and lets see if it happens again.

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Mushroom

Nonsense

Legally the police in the US need a warrant to search your home or your person AGAINST YOUR WILL. Sometimes they go ahead and search anyway but can be contested in court. What often happens is that police take advantage of people's ignorance of the legal technicalities, and persuade people to cooperate using snake-oil salesmen techniques. For example "Do you mind if I come in & have a look around" - many people will say "sue no problem" because they think they are being polite, while in reality that response can be legally taken as consent to search.

This guy might not have known that he had the option of refusing the search.

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Meh

Silly nonsense.

We don't need this media theatre to be beaten into a frenzy.

I'll buy the silly thing Apple, I'm more than happy to, my 3GS is getting old.

But save us the drama, PLEASE! I don't need fuzzy pics of stolen phones, or the accompanying media frenzy. Once I could believe, but twice in a row just comes off staged.

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Unhappy

And you are part of the problem

While you are willing to keep giving them your cash Apple will carry on with business as normal.

This includes stealing the work of others and passing it off as your own.

Filing multiple frivolous lawsuits just to delay a competitors product getting to market.

Blame other companies for their fuckups (blaming Microsoft when They shipped ipods containing a worm as just one example)

Ignoring European laws about the length of a warranty (3 years) and refusing to fix a faulty product as you didn't buy Applecare.

Ignoring EU law again by releasing battery powered devices which you cannot change the battery yourself. (why they haven't been battered in the courts I don't know, if it was any other company they would have been dragged over the coals by now)

Deliberatly restricting what a device can do, just to introduce a 'feature' in the next release so idiots like yourself rush out to buy it instead of asking why it wasn't there from day one.

Lying to their customers when a fault is found with a product and spending more on PR for damaged limitation rather than fixing the problem.

Attempt to sneak software onto peoples computers in order to make it look like market share had grown. (Itunes installing safari without asking)

Not allowing apps that directly compete with Apples own offerings because they 'duplicate functionality'. So what? If I want to have different apps that do the same or similar things that should be up to me. Apples stance is just blatently anti-competitive.

The attempt to impose American bible-belt 'morality' on everyone.

Terrorising journalists and threatening their career because they dared release information about a product before the marketing department (look up Jason O'Grady).

Terrify employees with a personal police force with regard to any leak to such an extent that they have even committed suicide. This started in China and it looks to have spread to the SFPD. No corporation should have a police force in its pocket. Be afraid, very afraid.

I could go on but point made. While Apple have such blind willing fans such as yourself they will never change. I don't buy Apple so you could say it doesn't affect me and you would be wrong. If a newspaper for example wants to sell through the App store they have to give Apple 30% fair enough apple can charge what they like. But they go one step further and ban that newspaper from selling a subscription cheaper elsewhere so they raise their prices. Even if I buy a subscription through the newspapers website I am paying a higher rate than I needed to as they are forbidden from selling it any cheaper by Apple. The more Apple get away with it, the more other companies look and think if they can get away with it, so can we. As a result expect technology to move backwards as individual companies use underhand tactics to lock you into their products and keep you there making it incredibly difficult to move to another supplier. As technology moves forward everything should be becoming more compatible with everything else, not less. We are heading back to the 80's were you had to pick a platform and stick with it as it was incompatible with everything else. IBM PC vs Amstrad, Amiga vs Atari ST etc. This is a huge step backwards and is a very bad thing.

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Well...

That wasn't written on an iPhone toychscreen

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Terminator

@AC

Ouch! Apple are turning into a real-life Omni Consumer Products.

iEd-209's to be out by Christmas.

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@AC

With all due respect, but you just described capitalism.

Consumer lock-in is a wet dream for any big IT business, so you can hardly blame Apple for using the same business model as Microsoft, Adobe, Symantec, etc etc.

In other words: Don't hate the player, hate the game.

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Megaphone

Another Jobsian Plow

The PR machine at Apple is at it again by "misplacing" another prototype shortly before its launch. Someone finds it, plasters the specs over the web to get the Appletinis drooling and camping out at the stores to get it as soon as the Immaculate Conception is delivered for the 5th time.

Wasn't the last guy who "found" the IP4 recently hired by Apple...at least that was the public statement.

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WTF?

Big Brother

Have we slid so far down the slippery slope that the police will now sanction a Corporate search of personal property? The LOSS of your PERSONAL property does not confer your right to search someone else's personal property. Did Steve Jobs sanction that action? Is that his last earthly attempt to hold on to power? Well I can tell you Apple can suck it (to the core) for that.

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Colon

Man, what a shitty name. Poor guy.

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Bronze badge

On the other hand

It could have been Nobbs.

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Colon

He's holding it wrong!

-Steve

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"hype": extravagant or intensive publicity

Apple is silent about even the existence future products. It's mainly about delaying any competitor response as long as possible, and protecting sales of the Apple product it will replace. Those are worth billions to Apple. Hype is worth only millions, and requires disclosing the existence of the product. And dirty hype, that Barry Shitpeas says Apple is deliberately manufacturing here, is seriously damaging to Apple. Why would they do that?

I'm not claiming that this wasn't Apple, or wasn't incompetent or perhaps immoral. Just that it isn't hype initiated by senior management.

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Pint

Hmmmm....

Dude apparently didn't know his rights. Tell me what California law allows an APPLE EMPLOYEE to search ANY private citizen's home while POLICE OFFERS STAND OUTSIDE, ALL without any form of warrant?? BS. Apple's people are not law enforcement and do not have any legal right to enter or search any private citizens' home, whether they think they have reason to believe so or not. In fact, Calderon can Sue and win a tidy sum from either APPLE, SF PD, or both.

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You're assuming the Apple representatives were honest and clearly identified themselves

And you are ignoring the effects of "apparent authority" that routinely make innocent people go so far as to admit they committed serious crimes.

"We're with the police, may we come in" a request, not a demand when spoken by a police officer, and a phrase easily usurped by someone who has hired police to accompany them.

And the Apple employee was an ex-cop. As someone with cops and ex-cops in his family I can tell you that tricking people into giving up their rights and how to get away with crimes is a common topic.

You can say it wouldn't happen to you, but when the day comes, likely you'll be intimidated into the wrong actions too.

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Pint

I don't think so

The difference is, I know my rights and I can tell you for a fact that some private company with an ex cop or not, does not have any LEGAL RIGHT to search My home, whether accompanied by police, or not. APPLE IS NOT LAW ENFORCEMENT and they have NO LEGAL RIGHT THEREFORE, TO SEARCH ANY PRIVATE CITIZEN'S HOME. I have cops and a JUDGE in my family sir, so I KNOW what I'm talking about. NO ONE is going to trick me into entering my home illegally. Show me a badge and Identify yourself. Try to mince words, I will ask if they are police officers. They aren't? Sorry, not coming in> Here's the thing. THE COPS STAYED OUTSIDE. WHY? THEY KNOW They can't enter without a warrant. Why else would THEY remain outside while Apple employees entered with the owner's consent? There you have it. NO ONE FROM APPLE can legal enter ANYONE'S HOME unless invited and I sure as hell would not invite them. They passed themselves off as police officers, tricked the bloke into allowing them entry, and committed an illegal search, period. They were not law enforcement and therefore had NO RIGHT to search the man's home, irregardless of what they believed they might find there. Some may be easily tricked. I am not. ASK FOR A BADGE AND ASK IF THEY ARE POLICE OFFICERS. They say NO, then no entry. They say yes, they are lying and illegally searching. With officers present who have knowledge of this, they are braking the law too. Can you say - "LAW SUIT AND BIG SETTLEMENT"?

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