Apple contacts man whose home was searched by employees

Sergio Calderon, whose house was searched by Apple security amid a hunt for a lost, unreleased phone, has been contacted by Apple, his attorney says.

Declan McCullagh Former Senior Writer
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A San Francisco man whose home was searched by Apple security officials hunting for a missing, unreleased iPhone is in discussions with the computer maker, his attorney said.

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Two Apple employees claimed they had traced the errant device to the residence of Sergio Calderon, 22, and then visited his house with four plainclothes officers from the San Francisco Police Department in late July. Calderon, who has said he was led to believe everyone who entered the house was a police officer, has hired attorney David Monroe.

Monroe declined to elaborate on the conversations with Apple.

Police have said a two-man Apple security team searched Calderon's home and did not recover the phone. Monroe said police facilitated the search by telling Calderon they would obtain a search warrant if he didn't submit to a search. Monroe said he believes police acted improperly by not identifying the Apple employees. He also said his client is innocent of any wrongdoing,

Monroe said that police, who have launched an investigation into the matter, have asked to speak with Calderon and that he has offered to provide them with a written statement from his client. The police have not replied, Monroe said.

"We want to help them find out if their rules were broken," Monroe said. "The real problem here is that police failed to disclose to my client that Apple employees would be searching his home. We don't know how often this may happen. I think it was [SFPD Chief Greg Suhr] who indicated that police often do searches like this for private investigators."

SFPD representatives did not respond to CNET's request for comment. An Apple representative declined to comment.

For Apple, a company with a reputation as one of Silicon Valley's most security conscious companies, this was the second unreleased iPhone lost by employees in the span of 18 months--both times in bars.

In March 2010, Gray Powell, an Apple engineer, lost a prototype iPhone 4 in a Redwood City, Calif., beer pub. Three weeks ago, the two men who obtained that phone and later sold the device to gadget blog Gizmodo, pleaded no contest to theft charges.