Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 26th Apr 2010 23:11 UTC, submitted by UglyKidBill
Legal Well, this is unexpected. The iPhone 4G saga just got a whole lot crazier - dare I say it, a whole lot more ridiculous. Have you ever reported anything like a phone or something similarly small stolen to the police? What was their reaction? Did you ever get the device back? Did they send an army of officers to get your device back? No? Odd. They raided Jason Chen's house, and took four computers and two servers. Update: And thus our true colours reveal. "The raid that San Mateo area cops conducted last week on the house of Gizmodo editor Jason Chen came at the behest of a special multi-agency task force that was commissioned to work with the computer industry to tackle high-tech crimes. And Apple Inc. sits on the task force's steering committee." Update II: According to TechCrunch, the investigation has been put on hold while the DA ponders Gizmodo's shield defence. Update III: Some legal insight from a constitutional law and first amendment expert and a law professor. The gist? The DA has said no one has been charged with anything here, making this just an investigation - however, this makes the search and seizing of material worse. "If the police are literally just gathering information, with no suspect targeted yet, then a subpoena against a journalist would have probably been smarter than a search warranted that resulted in the front door of Chen's home being bashed in."
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It isn't simply a phone
by nt_jerkface on Tue 27th Apr 2010 16:06 UTC in reply to "was there a theft?"
nt_jerkface
Member since:
2009-08-26

It's a company prototype and they knew who it belonged to.

It isn't just a random phone and they knew that which is why they paid $5000 for it. There's plenty of room here to charge them with a felony.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: It isn't simply a phone
by sorpigal on Wed 28th Apr 2010 12:16 in reply to "It isn't simply a phone"
sorpigal Member since:
2005-11-02

What the OP was saying is this:

- I find an item laying on the sidewalk with an owner's name and address on it.
- I contact said owner and he says "Oh that, I don't want it"
- I have just been given the item by the owner! Now I own it.
- I sell the device to someone
- The original owner learns of this and demands the item back.
- The someone who bought it gives the item back.
- The original owner contacts the police and tells them that said someone has purchased stolen property.
- The police raid his house and remove his television, armchair and a pair of shoes.

If the guy who 'found' it did in fact attempt to return it to Apple and if he was blown off, as the OP said, then the only crime committed here is by Apple for fraudulently reporting a crime to the police, and by the police for unlawful seizure (since, you know, the allegedly stolen property was certainly not in his house).

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: It isn't simply a phone
by boldingd on Thu 29th Apr 2010 22:43 in reply to "RE: It isn't simply a phone"
boldingd Member since:
2009-02-19

I think the charges that are driving the police response are more along the lines of corporate espionage, not theft. It's also not out-of-the-question at this point that the charges against Chen will be dismissed or drastically reduced -- or even that a counter-suit against Apple may proceed. This would hardly be the first time that the police have seized half of someone's earthly possessions and charged them with international terrorism, only to accept a guilty plea to jaywalking before trial, or dismissing the charges completely. It's actually fairly common, it's happened to me (right down to being threatened with terrorism -- fun story! ;) ).

Reply Parent Score: 2