Here's a twist in the tale of the bizarre iPhone 5 prototype lost story. Contradicting its earlier statements denying involvement in the search for the missing iPhone 5 prototype, the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) is now saying that it did accompanied Apple investigators in a search of a Bernal Heights man's home.

Following the original CNET story that reported Apple had lost yet another iPhone prototype in a bar in San Francisco, SF Weekly quoted SFPD spokesman Albie Esparza saying that police doesn't have any record of such investigation.

I talked to CNET reporter Declan McCullagh, said Esparza. I don't know who his source is, but we don't have any record of any such an investigation going on at this point.

On Friday night, SFPD issued a press release, in which it reversed its position and confirmed that SFPD assisted Apple security in a search of a Bernal Heights home. Below is the full text of the statement:

September 2, 2011

11-96

SAN FRANCISCO POLICE ASSIST APPLE SECURITY

WITH THEIR LOST PROPERTY INVESTIGATION

After speaking with Apple representatives, we were given information which helped us determine what occurred. It was discovered that Apple employees called Mission Police station directly, wanting assistance in tracking down a lost item. Apple had tracked the lost item to a house located in the 500 block of Anderson Street. Because the address was in the Ingleside Police district Apple employees were referred to Officers in the Ingleside district. Four SFPD Officers accompanied Apple employees to the Anderson street home. The two Apple employees met with the resident and then went into the house to look for the lost item. The Apple employees did not find the lost item and left the house.

The Apple employees did not want to make an official report of the lost item.

In April 2010, Apple lost an iPhone 4 prototype that went missing in a bar just before its release. But Apple was lucky to get it back after it had been sold by a finder to tech blog Gizmodo for $5000.

Reports of the loss of an iPhone prototype, the second instance in a year and a half, has created suspicion that the entire event could be a publicity stunt by Apple to market the device.