updated 03:15 am EDT, Wed October 5, 2011
Claims SF police-led search not legal
A lawyer representing Sergio Calderon, the 22-year-old San Francisco man at the center of a mysterious incident in late July involving a lost iPhone prototype, says he may sue Apple and the police in order to get answers about exactly how a search was conducted on Calderon's home (with his permission) that was led by private Apple investigators rather than actual SF police, though they were present when the search was conducted, CNet reports.
The incident began when an unnamed Apple employee left a then-unreleased iPhone prototype at a Mission District lounge called Cava 22. The lawyer, David Monroe, admits his client was at Cava 22 "around the time" the Apple phone disappeared. Details beyond that point vary, but a pair of Apple employees later led some SF police offers to Calderon's home, presumably using "Find My iPhone" type tracking, and accosted him, telling him they would get a search warrant if he did not agree to let them in.
Calderon, who has varied his story on several occasions, said he gave the group permission to search assuming all the parties were police officers. The officers accompanied Apple security personnel but, according to Monroe, did not actually participate in the search. Calderon says he would not have given permission had he known that the people doing the searching were Apple employees.
Monroe called the actions of the police and Apple "outrageous" and said he had a long list of questions he wanted to ask Apple and the police. If he doesn't receive much cooperation, he added, he would simply file suit as a way to force discovery of contacts and paperwork that led to the search of Calderon's home.
Police at first denied any knowledge of the search, then later admitted they gave Apple security permission to conduct the search and accompanied the employees to Calderon's home.
Complicating the matter is the reported erasing of security video footage at Cava 22 before police or Apple security could see it -- footage that may have confirmed Calderon's presence and exactly when the Apple engineer left the iPhone and what happened after that. No charges have been filed, and both the police and Apple haven't said if the phone prototype was recovered or not. The Apple investigators were said to have searched Calderon's house, car and home computer look for evidence. [via CNet]