D.A.: Apple engineer Gray Powell, outside counsel requested criminal probe of 4G iPhone imbroglio

invisibleSHIELD case for iPad“The criminal investigation into the purported theft of an apparent iPhone prototype came at the request of Apple Inc., officials said Tuesday,” Mary Duan reports for The Silicon Valley / San Jose Business Journal.

“Investigators said they have identified and interviewed the person who took the phone from the Gourmet Haus Staudt on March 18 after it was left there by Apple engineer Gray Powell following a birthday celebration,” Duan reports. “Officials were unable to tell the Business Journal whether that person, whose name has not been released, was the same person who eventually sold the phone to tech Web site Gizmodo.”

“So far, nobody has been charged with a crime,” Duan reports. “‘We’re still not saying it’s a crime,’ said San Mateo County Chief Deputy District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe. ‘The investigation has contacted as many segments of the people involved in this situation, including the person who took the phone from the German restaurant. The police know who he is and they have talked to him.'”

Duan reports, “Wagstaffe said that an outside counsel for Apple, along with Apple engineer Powell, called the District Attorney’s office on Wednesday or Thursday of last week to report a theft had occurred and they wanted it investigated.”

Read more in the full article here.


  1. As much as I love all things Apple — I really could not care less about any of this.

    Worse– it’s starting to make Apple look bad.

    Why? Because nobody cares. Because this is VICTIMLESS CRIME. Because it makes Apple look as bad as — yes, I’ll say it — the RIA going after college kids for sharing music.

    Police have better things to do– yes, I’m sure even special cyber crime task forces have more serious things to investigate. And we as a society certainly have better things to think about.

    Call off your dogs, Powell! You’re making Apple look like the RIAA.

  2. Hey someone stole my phone that I lost because I was drunk. Charge them with a crime I say. I wondering if he had a DD that night or drove home drunk? Guess we will never if he supposedly “broke the law” also.

  3. Fredo:

    Bullshit, this is a green light to steal corporate IP, This hurts investors, the company and it’s employees and in the case of Apple, the second largest US company, that employs 35,000 people and makes good money for our economy.

    You wouldn’t know how or what plans and strategies this hurt.

    They get away with this kind of instigation and conspiracy and the next one could be a lot worse.

  4. Just as I suspected, not done by Apple but by the individual who works for Apple.
    Sadly some still won’t get it and will cry foul of the big ‘evil’ corporation sending the Gestapo kicking doors in.

  5. How can a person steal something that is lost?

    He found it, and what would have been the right thing to do was report the phone lost to the carrier/owner (i.e. looking at contact data, he could have found that info if not locked out through password protection/remote wipe).

    But he sold it to Gizmodo. There then may be a crime in selling LOST property, I have no idea. But the person never stole it, neither did Gizmodo.

    All this, all this media, it’s just so stupid. It’s what’s wrong with America. Who cares. Leave everyone alone. A guy lost a phone at a restaurant, and someone found it. It just so happens it’s a prototype of an Apple handset. Imagine if this were another companies phone? Would it garner this much publicity? No. Apple is turning into the evil… if indeed they initiated the probe.

    Suck it up Apple, someone lost a phone, it happens. You shouldn’t let prototypes like this out in the wild if it’s too much of a risk.

  6. @ Breeze

    Give me a break, steal corporate IP? Really? How about lose corporate IP. And Second, Fredo is right if apple takes this to far it will make them look very bad. I mean no secrets were revealed that werent thought to be coming to the new iphone anyway. I like Apple as much as the next person, but take off your apple panties.

  7. @Fredo

    Police have better things to do

    You said the same thing in another thread, an hour ago. Still comparing Apple to RIAA? Tsk tsk.

    I’ll repeat the same thing I said to you in the other thread…

    Yes but these aren’t typical police. This is a special task force that specializes in technological/computer crime, so it isn’t like these police are neglecting the crimes that concern you.

    In fact, I’m inclined to believe these “police” are on the cutting edge of what will become one of the most significant task forces in the world. Cyber crime is wreaking havoc on all of us and it’s only a matter of time before someone coins the phrase The War on Cyber crime, or Cyber War.

    The main reason why this task force has secured the backing of 25 notable companies, including Apple, is we’re talking about obscene sums of money and corporate espionage.

    The money Microsoft loses each year to cyber criminals probably exceeds the entire budget for the state of California.

  8. Marc:

    Gizmodo took Apple on and in it’s zeal to penetrate Apple secrecy and expose it’s new products before the company itself, they published a challenging offer of cash for any Apple IP, secret info, or prototypes. They went even brazenly further in their initiation and instigation of Apple theft/piracy ( which was directed at Apple employees particularly) by publishing a “no questions asked”

    This is a brazen invitation to steal Apple’s IP – it was bragged about and published counless times like a bounty offer. If you don’t see the connection maybe you have no intellectual anything let alone panties. How does a little mind like you know what secrets were or weren’t revealed and to who?

  9. @ Ahdsfl,

    Problem is, leaving something somewhere doesn’t constitute “lost”, nor does finding something you think is lost mean it’s yours to keep.

    Ever heard the term “finders keepers”? It’s grade school bullshit.

    Returning the phone (or actually giving it to the bartender) wouldn’t have just been the right thing to do; it would have been the LEGAL thing to do.

    Your perception of reality is totally skewed and you can’t even understand the basic facts of the story, yet you feel compelled to state your opinion of what Apple should do.


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