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SFPD wants surveillance footage in lost iPhone 5 incident

updated 01:00 pm EDT, Sun September 25, 2011

SFPD hopes to catch iPhone 5 loss on tape

The San Francisco Police Department is hoping to use surveillance video footage to help identify the suspect, if any, behind the lost iPhone 5 prototype at Cava 22, the restaurant's owner Jose Valle explained this weekend. He revealed to CNET that the SFPD had visited a week ago and asked for footage from July 21 and 22, the timeframe of the missing device, to see what had happened. Valle has the video on hand and is just waiting for SFPD officers to respond.

Its footage may be imperfect as the six cameras involved only snap photos every three minutes and can't necessarily pick up finer details in more dimly lit areas. Apple would also have to provide details like the appearance of the employee that lost the phone and, possibly, the iPhone itself. The device would very likely have been disguised, as was the iPhone 4 prototype that was stolen last year, but it would risk giving away details.

The recordings may be for the internal SFPD probe and not any criminal investigation. Apple hasn't formally filed a criminal report, spokesman Lt. Troy Dangerfield said. He didn't explain why they would need to see footage of Cava 22 when the probe was primarily over the absence of paperwork for the case itself.

So far, the only evidence surrounding the disappearance has been linked to Sergio Calderon. Apple reportedly tracked the missing prototype to his home through Find My iPhone's GPS tracking, and Calderon admits to having been at Cava 22 the night when the device went missing. A search of the home didn't turn up the phone itself.

The case has raised questions both about Apple and the SFPD. Some have argued that Apple went too far in trying to orchestrate a home search outside of regular police channels, believing that the secrecy of an iPhone release trumped due process. Most of the criticism has been levelled at the SFPD, however, which was under no obligation to agree, if pushed at all, and should have at least followed basic legal processes.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Bobfozz

    Joined: Dec 1969


    ditched the phone

    Did the "suspect" ditch the phone before he got to his house? A friend perhaps. Something sounds very "fishy" here and dumping on Apple or SFPD is another "red herring" by all these "rights" groups who never seem to ATTACK perps.

  1. Flying Meat

    Joined: Dec 1969


    RE: Attacking perps

    First, the law, and legal system is responsible for "attacking" perps. Second, they are alleged perps until found guilty.
    Dumping on Apple or the SFPD, may or may not prove reasonable, but inquiring and pointing out potential inappropriate actions is not dumping on them.

    Bypassing due process is no more okay than taking something that belongs to someone else, and quite arguably less so.

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