Apple (AAPL) asked San Mateo County sheriffs to investigate how one of its iPhone prototypes ended up on Gawker Media’s gadget blog Gizmodo, CNBC’s Jim Goldman reports, according to a warrant unsealed in a hearing today.
The news confirms a WSJ report from April:
“Stephen Wagstaffe, the chief deputy district attorney for San Mateo County, said Apple contacted authorities and “advised us there had been a theft,” which led to the search warrant and an investigation.”
During the investigation, Apple sent its own security offers to the home of Brian J. Hogan, the dude who found the iPhone prototype in a bar and sold it to Gawker Media for $5,000.
At another point, sheriffs under warrant smashed their way into Gizmodo editor Jason Chen’s house and confiscated a whole load of gadgets.
Here’s CNBC’s Jim Goldman:
In an interview with CNBC, deputy district attorney Chris Feasel said he was disappointed by the ruling but that his office would abide by it, with plans to release the search warrant by Friday afternoon. He also confirmed that it was Apple that called police to report the phone was stolen, which set the investigation in motion. Feasel also says that instead of investigating this case as a stolen property crime, it was referred to the county’s REACT high tech crimes unit, or Rapid Enforcement Allied Computer Team, as a trade secrets case.