The IPhone
The Apple missing iPhone saga has gone too far, and San Francisco police get the blame. REUTERS

The iPhone may be a cash cow for Apple, but it is certainly turning into an embarrassment for the San Francisco Police Department. The latest report only confirms that the police department messed up, in some way at least, and has gotten pulled entirely too far into the apparent missing iPhone 5 prototype report.

Lt. Troy Dangerfield of the San Francisco Police Department has confirmed to CNET that an internal investigation is underway into determining how officers assisted two Apple security employees in their July search of a home for the handset that reportedly went missing at Cava 22, a San Francisco tequila lounge.

The internal investigation is underway after a report that members of the SFPD and two Apple employees showed up at the Bernal Heights neighborhood home of Jose Calderon and began questioning over an apparent missing iPhone 5 prototype. The iPhone 5 hasn't been released yet by Apple, and it's one of the most anticipated global product releases in history based on Internet traffic surrounding the launch.

Dangerfield confirmed that San Francisco police participated in the search, but he said that officers never entered Calderon's home, according to reports. Calderon told CNET he's talking to an attorney.

And this is the point in the story that somebody should tell the San Francisco police department to get their act together and spend time over issues that really matter, like theft, domestic violence, drug trafficking, reported stabbings, and the like.

So that's what's happening here, a message to the San Francisco police: Wake up and use some sense. Just because Apple is one of California's, and the world's, most important companies, doesn't mean the police department should get out of fair and reasonable protocol.

We don't need an investigation into that. Officers either went into the house without a warrant or they didn't. That should be easy to determine.

Of course, if a smartphone went missing -- even if it was an iPhone 5 prototype -- the company should have been instructed to file a report and police should have dealt with it accordingly. Just like if I lost a phone, or if you lost a phone. Simple as that. If officers in fact searched inside Calderon's home without a warrant, that's the problem.

If they did, then proper discipline is in order. If they didn't, the police department should cut its losses and get out of this story as quickly as possible and focus on more pressing issues.

Otherwise, San Francisco residents are the ones who should be outraged, that would should have been only a missing phone report has turned into a global embarrassing affair. Apple is important to many of us. As Americans, we want the company to do well, including with its iPhone 5 launch.

Many of us eagerly await the new product, and hope it lives up to the promise. And it's hard to blame the company for wanting to track down a missing iPhone 5 prototype. But it's the San Francisco police that has the problem. If they acted beyond protocol, then the agency is exposed.

Even if not, the San Francisco Police Department is guilty at the very least of getting involved in what should be a meaningless issue in terms of the law beyond a simple missing phone report. It may have been a big issue for Apple, but certainly there are much bigger issues of public safety concern in San Francisco.