Bernal Man May Sue Apple Over Search for Missing iPhone 5

Apple's Death Star Looms over Bernal Heights

Later this morning, Apple is expected to unveil the new iPhone 5. At the instant when the new gadget is unveiled, the incident involving the purported loss of an iPhone 5 prototype that resulted in the search of a Bernal Heights resident’s home will become little more than an odd historical footnote. But the Bernal Heights man, Sergio Calderon, may keep the story alive a little bit longer by pursuing a lawsuit against Apple:

Apple internal security told police that the device was priceless and the company was desperate to secure its safe return, then led police to a house in the Bernal Heights neighborhood of San Francisco.

One of the six people who visited Calderon’s home said they would obtain a search warrant if he did not agree to let them in, according to two sources with knowledge of the event. Calderon then voluntarily submitted to what he claims he believed was a search by police officers, but in reality included Apple employees.

The San Francisco Police Department confirmed that their officers escorted Apple employees to Calderon’s house but said that the only people to search his house, car, and computer were the two Apple employees. Lt. Troy Dangerfield, an SFPD spokesman, said that officers waited outside during the search. Monroe confirmed this evening that his client, Calderon, had been at Cava 22 around the date the Apple phone disappeared.

“There’s a question about what night,” Monroe said. “I don’t know what night they said something was taken from the bar, whether it was Friday or Saturday. He had been there that week but…I don’t have anybody on the record as to which night it went missing.”

Regardless of whether or not the lawsuit proceeds, the affair has shined a rather unflattering light on Apple’s security tactics and the too-cozy relationship that apparently exists between some ex-cops employed by the company and the San Francisco Police Department. That’s a data point to keep in mind as you wait in line to get your iPhone 5 during the weeks ahead.


4 thoughts on “Bernal Man May Sue Apple Over Search for Missing iPhone 5

  1. As a lawyer, this is a good opportunity for me to yet again point out that if the police want to search your home and tell you if you don’t allow them in, they will get a search warrant, it is PERFECTLY OKAY to decline a voluntary search and ask them to return with a warrant.

  2. What’s really gotten me peeved about this is that Apple isn’t even an SF company, and yet they get the resources of 4 plainclothes detectives on a moment’s notice. I hope SFPD does the right thing when they report the findings of their internal investigation (arrest the Apple investigators for impersonating a police officer), and tell us SF residents & taxpayers exactly WTF went on. It’s also disgusting that they apparently inquired as to the immigration status of Calderon & his family, which is a clear attempt at intimidation.

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