After denying that it had anything to do with the bizzare search of a man’s house, San Francisco’s finest have admitted that they backed up Apple staff as they searched a citizen’s house for a stolen iPhone prototype.
Apple security traced the stolen iPhone 5 to an address and called for police back-up. The company then searched the house before giving up.
According to a police statement four police accompanied two Apple employees to the house, however the two Apple security staff talked with the resident and then went into the house to look for the lost item.
What is alarming is that neither the police, nor Apple had a warrant to search the house and appeared to be relying on the goodwill of the person who opened the door. After all, a Jobs’ Mob blackshirt is likely to get a door shut in his face, but a law abiding citizen tends to obey people in uniform carrying guns.
However AP quoted Sergio Calderon, who was the resident of the searched house, as saying the group identified themselves as police and that none had said they were working for Apple, so he let them in.
Earlier statements from San Francisco coppers indicate that there was something wrong with the way the operation was carried out. SFPD spokesman Lieutenant Troy Dangerfield said SFPD requires a supervisor’s approval for personnel who are not law enforcement officers to accompany police during investigations and it was not routinely done.
Later the cops stopped making comments. A cynic would suggest that someone in Apple security asked a higher up in the SFPD to provide back-up for its investigation.
Already the more cynical press claims that the phone has been leaked in the hope that it will publicise the thing without violating Apple’s code of secrecy. It is rubbish of course. If that happened then Apple would certainly not call in a few favours with the cops.
Still, it should anger a few San Francisco residents who can’t get the local plod to take their burglary seriously because of manpower problems. It seems the SFPD are acting as Apple’s own security staff.