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Last week the web was ablaze with news that yet another iPhone prototype had been misplaced in a bar.
Some jokingly speculated that the loss of this iPhone 5 prototype was so similar to the loss of an iPhone 4 prototype that it could plausibly have been a PR stunt. No one, however, seriously believed this to be the case.
Further bolstering belief that the prototype’s loss was not a PR stunt, CNET, which first released the story, had written that the San Francisco police department (SFPD) had played a part in the recovery of the lost iPhone.
According to the original story, using GPS tracking, Apple and SFPD managed to track the phone to the apartment of a then unidentified man who denied having the phone even after Apple employees, “offered the man money for the phone no questions asked”.
Following the original story, however, a SFPD official said that the SFPD had no record of an investigation involving a missing Apple product.
The mystery did not end there.
Sergio Calderón, in the wake of the initial reports of the prototypes loss, contacted the San Francisco Weekly, saying that he believed he was the unidentified man mentioned in the CNET report.
As he explained to the newspaper, the six men who questioned him and searched his home had definitively stated that they were all members of the SFPD.
This immediately raised the prospect that Apple employees may have committed a criminal offence, falsely representing themselves as policemen. Quoted in the SF Weekly’s interview with Calderón, yet another SFPD spokesperson said of the impersonation claims, “this is something that’s going to need to be investigated now”.
In the latest twist to the saga, following two different spokespeople having said that it knew nothing of a lost iPhone, the SFPD has released a statement saying it did in fact “assist” Apple with a “lost property investigation”. The statement though only referred to the search for “a lost item”.
Apple, meanwhile, has kept up a wall of silence throughout the course of events.