Hidden cameras found in NWX restroom - twice

Police confirm 2012 case; no word if linked to one at nearby home

POSTED: 7:15 PM PDT July 11, 2013 
BEND, Ore. -

Small hidden cameras were found twice last year in a public restroom shared by two businesses in Bend's NorthWest Crossing, police confirmed Thursday.

Police first were alerted to the cameras in June of last year. Then, in December, a woman found another camera in the same bathroom.

The camera was hidden inside what looked like a baby monitor, leaving Sara LaFaver and her co-workers at The Garner Group feeling violated. They share the restroom with the Sage Cafe.

A Realtor told NewsChannel 21 Thursday about last year's discoveries, wondering if they could be linked to a recently discovered hidden camera case at a home in the same neighborhood.

LaFaver said, "Whether you're here in NorthWest Crossing or on the Eastside or anywhere else, you think that Bend's a pretty safe community. You don't expect that kind of thing."

Just last month, police found hidden cameras in a home on Lolo Drive in NorthWest Crossing.

That came to light when Richard Eugene Ipsen, 59, was booked in Washington County on multiple counts of invasion of personal privacy in connection with a hidden camera, disguised as an AC adapter, found in a Sherwood Starbucks restroom in May.

Bend Police Lt. Chris Carney said, "We're obviously aware of the two cases and the similarity of the cases."

However, Bend police were not willing to say the cases are linked, only that it's an ongoing investigation.

LaFaver said, "Something like this can happen anywhere. I think people need to be aware of their surroundings, no matter where they are at."

Police say you can take steps to protect yourself. They suggest you look around the restroom, or any environment you are in, and see if something just doesn't look right.

But Carney says cases like these are rare, and that police don't want people to be paranoid and be afraid to use public restrooms.

Asked why the information on last year's cases wasn't released earlier, Carney said police did not believe there was any ongoing threat to the public and did not want to  take steps that could hinder their investigation.