If you remember the stolen iPhone story from last year, this year looks like a dead ringer. This year it is the upcoming version of the iPhone 5 that has unfortunately gone missing. The loss and internet exploitation of the iPhone 4 last year was a great soap opera session and great for Apple sales. This year looks to be more of the same. Buzz is being generated about a missing iPhone 5 from a bar in San Francisco. This time it is a “Tequila Bar” so some Latin flair is included for dramatics. The bar where the prototype was lost is named “Cava22″. Cnet seems to have been the ones to break the story with their web site. They reported the handset was missing for two days before Apple finally called the cops.
While the authorities were being called, the errant, roving smartphone was being tracked by Apple. This showed that the phone was being held at San Francisco’s Bernal Heights. This neighborhood is in the south section of San Francisco’s Mission District. It is not a particularly safe neighborhood with a murder happening there as early as last week. Nevertheless, upon investigation, the missing phone was tracked to a specific house. The occupant was a man in his twenties who confessed to being at the same Tequila bar on the night the handset went missing. The man gave permission to the police to search his house, but no iPhone 5 prototype was found. As the search came to an end, Apple investigators who were with the police offered the man money for the phone. He maintained that he knew nothing about a missing iPhone 5.
The owner of the Tequila bar, Jose Valle, was in a joking mood when questioned about the missing iPhone. He stated that maybe he needed to make his drinks with less alcohol. The Apple employees are not supposed to take iPhones away from the campus for testing. This means that whoever took this one to the Tequila bar could be in for a litigious future, and Apple is the most powerful company in the United States.
The story has yet to reach its next series in the installment. California law states that if property is found, and the finder knows who the owner is likely to be, but uses that property for personal use, they are guilty of theft. Another California state law proclaims that anyone who receives stolen property that has been appropriated illegally can be imprisoned for up to a year. Look for the buzz about this missing iPhone 5 prototype to build to a high crescendo just before the smartphone comes to market.