Why so disinterested in the conflict of interest?
"Well yes - Newport Beach police aren't going on a wild goose chase every time some drunk SEO guru reports his phone stolen.
But if Apple reports a secret prototype iPhone 4G lost or stolen (presumably when they reported it they mentioned it wasn't an ordinary phone), then it does seem logical that the cops would be interested"
You think the police should switch from disinterest to sending in a rapid response team, simply because the complainant works for Apple. Why the sycophancy reg? Exactly how would this double standard be understandable, or serve the public interest?
"It has been mentioned (by Gawker Media boss Nick Denton, among others) that Apple is on the steering committee of R.E.A.C.T., but it's one of 25 tech companies on that committee, and if a task force is going to have such a steering committee, then it seems entirely reasonable that Apple be on it."
Whether or not it is reasonable that Apple is on this committee is irrelevant. It still seems like a strong explanation for the double standard mentioned above, which amounts to a private company controlling the police. This doesn't worry you?