Police Chief Orders 10 Officers To Hunt For Son's Stolen iPhone

Berkeley PoliceSomeone stole your iPhone. You cry a little bit. You remind yourself that it's just a material object and you have your health and a loving family. You cry a little bit because you didn't back up your photos. And then you spend an hour looking for cheap refurbished iPhones on eBay.

Or if your dad's a police chief, you get an army of police officers to go look for it.

Berkeley police chief Michael Meehan ordered 10 of his police officers, some from the Drugs Task Force, to follow the trail of his son's iPhone tracking software, knocking door to door in north Oakland, with no success, reports a local website, Berkleyside.

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Meehan's son's iPhone was reportedly stolen from his locker at Berkeley High back in January. The department didn't file a report about the investigation, according to news reports.

Some taxpayers were not thrilled that they paid an estimated $740 in overtime to four employees for the investigation -- more than the price of a brand spanking new 64GB iPhone 4S.

"If everybody is allowed to get their cellphone that way that would be great, because I've lost a number of cellphones," local resident Mike Anderson told Bay Area television station KGO-TV.

Meehan defended the decision to the Oakland Tribune, saying that 11 officers were called out in two other stolen iPhone cases. "I think it was worth it," he said about the cost.

But Berkleyside quoted a police officer anonymously as saying that he thought the whole thing was kind of weird. "I'm surprised at the manpower that was spent on the case," he said, adding that "if it had been anyone else, they would have made a report."

Meehan already is under investigation for an incident back in March, when he allegedly sent an officer to a reporter's house at 12:45 a.m. to ask for a correction to a story. Meehan apologized, but the review is going to cost the city a reported $25,000.





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Claire Gordon

Staff Writer

Claire Gordon has contributed to Slate's DoubleX, the Huffington Post, and the book Prisons: Current Controversies. While an undergraduate at Yale University and a research fellow at Yale graduate school, she spoke on panels at Yale and Cornell, and reported from Cairo, Tokyo, and Berlin.

Follow Claire on Twitter. Email Claire at claire.gordon@teamaol.com. Add Claire to your Google+ circles.

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michael

I don't have a father I don't have any brothers, I don't have any police men in my family...I don't have any children ...My new to me ... used 2003 ford pickup truck was broken into last night and somebody stole my red and black 18 inch chainsaw craftsman with a dull blade on it...The hardened criminal broke out the side window...I went to the police station to have a police report written up...they didn't even look the truck...I have worked for 24 years and that was after getting out of US army Honorably 2 years over seas then 2 more 1 year extensions stateside..then paid taxes for over 21 years in Lawrence Mass...last year it bwas my 3 alluminum ladders 1 40 ft extensin ladder and my mothers 20 ft extension ladder and 1 more step ladder 10 footer...so that was just in lawrence Mass....My other place in the mountains had about 15 thousand dollars of dammage done to my property but that was in New Hampshire..up in the white mountains...nobody did anything to get my property back nor to seek restitution from the criminals...

May 30 2012 at 9:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Chris

"Hey dad, guess what? It was in my other pair of pants the whole.... wtf?"

May 30 2012 at 6:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
smartfix

Berkeley police chief Michael Meehan is a failure as police chief, father, husband, brother, and citizen. You are a corrupt, dirty cop and should be wacked.

May 30 2012 at 3:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
BYRONI

Wow. A couple hundred bucks worth of plastic copper and silica gets the entire force's attention, but a fully restored 1975 Pontiac Trans-Am gets a rookie patrol officer who takes a report and forgets to file it for two days and is returned via flatbed into the middle of the driveway completely totaled. Shame my dad was only a USAF Major and not a cop.

May 24 2012 at 11:48 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to BYRONI's comment
michael

agreed.....Your dad was also unsuitable to keep and own a firearm in that state also...public servants are perfect saints HUH.....

May 30 2012 at 9:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
porsch451

LMAO!! WTH The other 11 officers were called out for two other cell phones??.give me a break you corrupt piece of crap!!!

May 24 2012 at 10:30 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
sewamused

Only in Berkley!

May 24 2012 at 8:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Sylvan

He went to the ZERO Bama school of "how to be proud of America by spening tax payers funds"

May 24 2012 at 8:21 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
sketch008

Fire him for waste, fraud and abuse!!! Fire the officers too!!!

May 24 2012 at 8:11 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
rflulling

Most of the time stolen things are never returned, the department sighting cost of sending an officer out to look for your stuff while they should be keeping the peace. So what do we do. Well now there's a GPS chip in the device it keeps you from getting lost but also makes the phone identifiable if lost itself. But then several cases where a lost device with GPS have broke the news. The police generally refuse to do anything. One case a load jack software let the victim photograph the perp with the webcam, and view his Facebook page. The police still refused to help. But with media pressure issued a warrant and caught the perp.

Here's the thing, as much as we would love to get our stolen things back, that's not what the police are set up to do. We might have to hire a private investigator or create a new arm of law enforcement to deal with theft. But, DO NOT COUNT ON THE POLICE TO GET IT BACK.

This case was a clear symptom of abuse. Yes dad might have been the chief, but this just might cost dad his job.

May 24 2012 at 8:03 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
ticknert2

A corrupt cop? No freaking way!

May 24 2012 at 7:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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