iPhone Fish Tale Reels in SFPD (Again), Others

Update to update: Now the SFPD is saying that they did, indeed, accompany Apple security forces to a man's home in Bernal Heights, according to PCMag.com. A spokesperson told SF Weekly, the originator of the story, that plain-clothes cops accompanied Apple representatives but "did not go inside the house." Full story here, and below.


Update: The Bernal Heights man mentioned in the story below has told the SF Weekly that six people claiming to be from the SFPD came to his home and searched it. The SFPD spokesman told the paper, "This is something that's going to need to be investigated."

-------The original story appears below-------

Hey, we bit. And so did most of the web, broadcast and overall media; however, SF Weekly is reporting that San Francisco police have no record of an investigation around a lost iPhone 5 prototype. And, to be clear, we saw this headline on our feed from Silicon Alley.

Such a proto may not exist in the wild after all. Even further, the police say that CNet -- the site that broke the story (or "story") as an exclusive -- was told that no such investigation was initiated and the site ran the story anyway.

The story centered around something that had previously befell Apple: an employee had left an iPhone prototype in a bar (presumably after a night of showing it off to get free or reduced drinks). That was Gizmodo, who wound up with the phone but without charges. The man who sold the proto to Gizmodo had to deal with the police. Gizmodo did not.

So, now CNET, an otherwise reputable and high-performance site, is in the soup today for reporting that the newest prototype pratfall was traced to a man in Bernal Heights in San Francisco. But Peter Jamison of SF Weekly did what newspapers used to call a "phone call" to the SFPD. The PD told him, "...We don't have any record of any such investigation going on at this point."

Officer Albie Esparza said there were no police dispatched to a man's home in Bernal Heights. There are also no records of a search for a phone at Cava 22, the spot allegedly where the prototype was lost.

The real sore spot left to untangle is what Esparza said next: that he told CNET all of this weeks ago, yet the story still appeared. And NBC Bay Area, and many other outlets, ran with it.

CNET cited an anonymous source in its original reporting. If they can un-anonymize that person soon it would probably be best.

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