It seems the long arm of Apple's Law has caused a bit of a kerfuffle at the San Francisco Police Department, following the shady search of a Bernal Heights home for an iPhone 5 prototype that went missing back in July. It turns out that two of the four plainclothes officers weren't police officers at all. They were Apple security. In addition to allegedly impersonating the fuzz, the company representatives apparently coerced the resident, Sergio Calderon, into allowing the search of his house, car and computer after they inquired about his and his family's immigration status.

Mysteriously, no iPhone was recovered, and Cnet has also reported that Calderon is seeking legal counsel on the matter. This leads one to speculate on several things, not the least of which is who was really in charge when the police, idly standing by at the scene, allowed a couple of corporate security goons to act like cops, knowing full well that such a thing is illegal?

But on a more editorial note, one can't help but wonder how much of this "missing iPhone" saga is part of some grand publicity stunt. When the iPhone 4 prototype went missing in a San Francisco bar last year, it was sort of amusing. Now the proverbial lightning has struck twice, only this time with the side effect of alleged police misconduct and possible Constitutional rights violations. And assuming this isn't all part of some grand scheme on the part of Apple to draw the media's attention to their upcoming Fifth Phone to Rule Them All, it nevertheless seems that the one who should be doing more internal investigating is Apple.

This was evident when it happened the first time, but now it's glaringly obvious. No one takes a priceless prototype out of the Apple fortress and into a place teeming with drunks unless they intend to lose said prototype. Probably in exchange for buttloads of cash. But that's just one admittedly Hollywood-tinged theory. In the meantime, the iPhone 5 is out there somewhere, waiting to spill its lucrative secrets to the most daring tech bloggers, those who are willing to face possible prosecution, or the shady wrath of a security team working for a company that, undoubtedly, is loving all this free press. Yeah, Apple, you're welcome.

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