Lost iPhone prototype spurs SF police to seek bar video 

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The San Francisco Police Department is seeking surveillance footage from a Mission District bar where an Apple employee lost an unreleased iPhone 5, CNET is reporting. The footage is likely wanted for the internal affairs investigation into how police assisted Apple in its search for the missing handset.

According to CNET, Jose Valle, whose family owns Cava 22, said that police came to the tequila bar a week ago and left a message asking to see video from July 21 and 22.

Valle told CNET that the bar has six cameras, which take still photos every three minutes. He said he could not guarantee that the missing iPhone would have been recorded.

An Apple employee reportedly lost the phone at Cava 22 in late July. Apple did not file a police report, but according to CNET company representatives visited Cava 22 and traced the phone’s whereabouts to a home in Bernal Heights. Accompanied by police, Apple representative searched the home, a car and a computer but did not find the device.

Apple representatives suspect the phone was sold on Craigslist for a $200, according to CNET.

The incident was eerily similar to one nearly a year ago where an Apple engineer accidentally left an iPhone 4 prototype in a Redwood City bar following his birthday celebration. The phone was lost five months before its release in September 2010.

That prototype was sold for $5,000 to Gizmodo, a technology blog. The San Mateo District Attorney’s Office filed charges in August against those allegedly involved in the sale.

Apple has not announced a release date for the next iPhone. Industry experts have speculated it could come in September or early October.

acrawford@sfexaminer.com

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