Yesterday there was a story ‘exclusively reported by CNet’ that an iPhone5 prototype had been lost in a bar, ironically mirroring what happened with the iPhone4 last year.

Referencing a supposed report that the Police and Apple employees visited an address in San Francisco to where the device was Tracked, it looks like CNet was duped and the story was a hoax.

Police in the area say the story – along with reports that Apple employees had been escorted by police to a building to which they’d tracked the misplaced iPhone 5 – is a work of fiction.

American tech news site PC World quotes San Francisco police department spokesperson Albie Esparza as saying: “We do not have any knowledge of an Apple iPhone investigation. I am trying to locate a report associated with that case and so far have been unsuccessful in doing so.”

As we suspected, there is just no way an iPhone5 prototype would be allowed to be wandering around in the wild after the same incident last year. Versions have been with the carriers for a while in chained, locked, boxes possibly with their physical characteristics disguised so there is just no way a one would be out unescorted in San Francisco. Sorry CNet….