The first stolen iPhone prototype had all the intrigue of a Sam Spade novel. There was a drunk bar scene, black market dealings, a media scandal, and a police raid. But this time around \u2013 that\u2019s right, another iPhone prototype has gone missing \u2013 it reads more like something out of George Orwell\u2019s 1984.\n\tOrwell probably wouldn\u2019t be nearly as enamored with Apple as those on the local police force and city council.\n\tHere\u2019s the backstory on missing prototype number two: An iPhone, probably an iPhone 5 prototype, went missing at a tequila bar in the tough Mission district of San Francisco in July. Using GPS, Apple tracked the phone to a home. Two Apple private investigators and four San Francisco police officers in plain clothes, who according to SF Police Chief Greg Suhr were providing \u201ccivil standby,\u201d went to the home.\n\n\tThe events that follow are a bit unclear. Sergio Calderon, 22, who lives in the home, told SF Weekly that they identified themselves as police officers and asked to search his house. \u201cThat\u2019s why I let them in,\u201d Calderon said. Suhr says his officers did not enter the home and participate in the search; he doesn\u2019t know how Apple private investigators identified themselves. Impersonating police officers, of course, is a crime.\n\tThe missing prototype wasn\u2019t found.\n\tAs stated earlier, police officers were providing civil standby to ensure that things wouldn\u2019t get out of control. After all, no one wants to see what happened in China when an iPhone went missing from electronics manufacturer Foxconn. (Okay, that\u2019s a cheap shot.)\n\tSeriously, though, civil standby, often used in domestic disputes to keep the peace, should have been used in the Foxconn case. Two years ago, Foxconn goons went to the apartment of the suspect, Sun Danyong, 25, searched for the iPhone but didn't find it and then roughed him up. Later that day, Danyong jumped to his death from the 12th floor of his apartment.\n\tBut San Francisco sending four police officers to assist a private company to find a cell phone seems a little much. Then again, you need to know what Apple and its founder Steve Jobs mean to Silicon Valley and San Francisco.\n\tLast month, Silicon Valley wept on the news of Jobs resigning as Apple CEO. Silicon Valley had lost a favorite son \u2013 one who epitomized its rebellious, creative, innovative spirit. This loss was catastrophic. Never mind that all of the hand-wringing is over a change in CEO leadership at a single company.\n\tEarlier this summer, Jobs presented his plans to build a massive spaceship-looking building to a fawning Cupertino city council. The building is expected to fly through the approval process. Let\u2019s hope council members are able to wipe away their tears of Apple admiration and consider the local impact. (For more, check out Apple\u2019s Spaceship Campus: What\u2019s the Message?)\n\tThere\u2019s no question Apple holds tremendous sway over the denizens of Silicon Valley and San Francisco and their government entities. The fact that it\u2019s getting hard to distinguish between Apple private investigators and San Francisco police officers reminds me of another Orwell novel, Animal Farm:\n\u201cThe creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which."