A lot of people wanted to know the course of events, the documents are now unsealed and it appears it was Brian Hogan’s roommate who called the cops.
Kim Zetter for Wired.com:
Martinson turned Hogan in, because Hogan had plugged the phone into her laptop in an attempt to get it working again after Apple remotely disabled it. She was convinced that Apple would be able to trace her Internet IP address as a result. “Therefore she contacted Apple in order to absolve herself of criminal responsibility,” according to the detective who wrote the affidavit.
The tip sent police racing to the home of 21-year-old Brian Hogan, and began a strange scavenger hunt for evidence that a friend of Hogan’s had scattered around this Silicon Valley community. Police recovered a desktop computer stashed inside a church, a thumb drive hidden in a bush alongside the road, and the iPhone’s serial-number stickers from the parking lot of a gas station.
Why hide this stuff unless you actually stole the phone?
Also note the following:
An Apple spokeswoman told Threat Level that Apple officials took Martinson’s tip directly to the district attorney’s office, and did not show up at Hogan’s house, as a Wired.com source claimed last month.
Apple also told the police that the publication of Gizmodo’s story was “immensely damaging” to the company, because consumers would stop buying current generation iPhones in anticipation of the upcoming product. Asked the value of the phone, Apple told the police “it was invaluable.”
That last bit is the exact reason Gizmodo and everyone else involved in what I am now going to call a theft, is so very screwed.