SFPD gave Apple 'assistance' searching home for lost device
Four San Francisco police officers accompanied two Apple employees to a man's house and hung around while they looked for a lost item, according to a statement from the SFPD on Friday evening.
Do police officers generally accompany corporate security personnel to search private homes? The statement by SFPD's Lt. Troy Dangerfield did not say.
Dangerfield sent out a brief statement after his department received questions from over 60 media outlets about reports that S.F. police had helped Apple operatives in their efforts to recover a lost iPhone prototype.
Dangerfield's statement seems to confirm elements of a story from SF Weekly which reported on Friday that a 22-year-old man, Sergio Calderón, said two Apple operatives and four plainclothes officers showed up at his door and asked to come inside and look for a lost iPhone. But the SF Weekly account said Calderón reported that the men who showed up at his house used threatening language, asking him if the residents of his home were U.S. citizens.
Apple has not responded to a request for comment on the situation.
The two Apple officials searched the home but did not find what they were looking for, according to Dangerfield's statement, which is as follows:
After speaking with Apple representatives, we were given information which helped us determine what occurred. It was discovered that Apple employees called Mission Police station directly, wanting assistance in tracking down a lost item. Apple had tracked the lost item to a house located in the 500 block of Anderson Street. Because the address was in the Ingleside Police district Apple employees were referred to Officers in the Ingleside district. Four SFPD Officers accompanied Apple employees to the Anderson street home. The two Apple employees met with the resident and then went into the house to look for the lost item. The Apple employees did not find the lost item and left the house.
The Apple employees did not want to make an official report of the lost item.
About a year ago, Apple faced criticism for involving law enforcement in a different case of a lost iPhone prototype. Armed law enforcement personnel showed up at a blogger's house with a warrant and rammed down his door. Read about that case in the related links below.
-- David Sarno
Image: An artistic rendering of SFPD badges. Credit: Thomas Hawk / Flickr