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SFPD: we did give Apple permission for iPhone 5 search

updated 07:25 pm EDT, Fri September 2, 2011

SFPD finds it did give Apple help in iPhone 5 hunt

The SFPD in a follow-up to its investigation was told by the SFPD that the controversial iPhone 5 hunt did occur with its blessing. After a check, Lt. Troy Dangerfield told SFWeekly that four police officers followed Apple senior investigator Tony Colon and one other Apple official in the search of Sergio Calderon's house. Dangerfield's account had the four officers outside while the two Apple staff were inside conducting their search.

Calderon, who didn't mention who had actually entered into the house, confirmed that only two people actually entered the house and hadn't identified themselves as police officers. He gave permission to the group to conduct the search and, based on the new information, effectively waived his privacy rights. However, he had assumed the Apple workers were also SFPD and now says he wouldn't have let them in if he had known.

Questions still persist over the handling of the case that could result in legal trouble for Apple, the SFPD, and Calderon alike. It's not known how much authority the police had to work in tandem with Apple, especially as the SFPD didn't record the event like it was required. Whether or not Colon and his co-worker represented themselves properly is also in question, as is the treatment from the police officers, who purportedly intimidated Calderon and family by questioning their US citizienship.

Simultaneously, though, Calderon's denial isn't consistent with Apple's claims. It tracked the missing iPhone 5 from the Cava 22 tequila bar that Calderon visited the day in question back to his home, but he still maintains that he doesn't have the prototype.

Current revelations do at at least partly exonerate Colon, who went through police channels to pursue the phone. The investigator is a veteran of both the police and private security with awards for his service.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Bobfozz

    Joined: Dec 1969


    As I said earlier...

    Let's wait and see.
    Did the guy "ditch" the phone? If the phone is OFF can Apple still track it? (I don't know these things). Something is fishy here and I don't think it is Apple. They involved the police, as they should, and they tracked the phone there--what are the other possibilities? Did someone come to his house and remove it before the police got there? Lots of people lie to the police if they think they might be in trouble... he may have gotten cold feet and found some way to "dump it." See the Holloway case in Aruba! (But Van der Sloot is now arraigned for a different murder. Crime doesn't pay.)
    As I wrote, "Let's wait and see."

    Comment buried. Show
  1. macjockey

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I want permission too

    I want the police to give me permission to bash into a stranger's home and ransack it. I've never done that before. Going to add that to my bucket list.

  1. AlenShapiro

    Joined: Dec 1969



    The SFPD were there in an official capacity or they were not. If they were then why did they let Apple personnel conduct the search unsupervised. If they were not there in an official capacity and were just there to get Apple into the property I am somewhat horrified and hope no incentives were offered.

    Does seem odd. Hopefully some facts will emerge.

  1. lamewing

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Trouble a brewin

    The only people who should have entered his home were the police officers, NOT the Apple employees. If they entered his home under the guise of being a police officer...with the actual police standing there...then this man (and his lawyer) will be very, very rich.

  1. facebook_Collin

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Sep 2011


    Industrial Espionage?

    My guess is Calderon is not sure he followed instructions and is now playing any card he can to stay out of jail or reveal his contact. The race card Calderon played also guarantees the press will stay on him for a while.

    In any case this amounts to little more than more hype for the iPhone. Any information a competitor can gain from a teardown / benchmark is not going to accurately represent the final product performance. So once again competitors will be shooting in the dark at a moving target with respect to the iPhone.

  1. canadave

    Joined: Dec 1969


    comment title

    Nothing new here...just one more brick falling off the wall between public power and corporate power. Welcome to your new corporate overlords, folks. You may not like public officials, but at least you can vote them out. Don't like corporate officials doing stuff like this? Well, what ya gonna do about it?

  1. lamewing

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Voting down the truth

    If you voted down my statement that means you feel the SFPD and Apple have the right to illegally search a person's home. How would you feel if the police came to your door, misrepresented the people accompanying them as police officers (or at least didn't clearly identify them as non-police) and then search your home?

  1. AllanCook

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Since when

    were the police allowed to permit private citizens to conduct searches of one's home? Was a search warrant issued? Who signed it? What representations were made to the judge about who would be conducting the search? Who made them? When and where were they made? What representations were made to Calderon about the officers' authority? What about the Apple employees' authority? What does the return on the search warrant say (i.e., what was found)?

  1. stevesnj

    Joined: Dec 1969



    since the police didn't know what to look for the police can deputize persons that have knowledge and expertise that the police don't. The Apple personnel were escorted in the search. I see nothing wrong with this. they are looking for something that is a corporate secret and contains proprietary corporate info. Granted it's carelessness of the person responsible of the phone, but this phone is stolen property.

  1. DiabloConQueso

    Joined: Dec 1969


    People can ask...

    ...other people for permission to search their home.

    Doesn't mean you have to let them, though. You have every right to say "no."

    The comments here indicate that people think that Apple and/or the SFPD had no right to ask the question in the first place, or that merely asking for permission was a criminal act.

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