Police: Receipt and shipping information links Sherwood priest to hidden bathroom camera

August 20, 2015


Police say a receipt and shipping information linking a Sherwood priest to a hidden bathroom camera, is what prompted them to issue a warrant for his arrest Tuesday.

Investigators say a security company in Dallas, Texas is to thank for essentially breaking the case wide open.

Sherwood police say they were suspicious of Priest Ysrael Bien for months, but did not have enough evidence to arrest him, for hiding that camera in a church bathroom.

They tell FOX 12 one call from SpyGuy Security changed everything.

SpyGuy Security Owner Allen Walton says their wall socket hidden camera is one of their top selling products, and many of people by them for many of reasons.

But, after six plus years in the spy-gear business, he experienced a first.

“Last Wednesday, a customer visited our website and opened up a live chat with one of my employees,” said Walton.  “The visitor asked for what records we could give them and if we’d be able to tell if someone in Sherwood, OR bought and electrical outlet hidden camera. The visitor mentioned one was found in a church bathroom and they were trying to figure out who owned it.”

Walton says they don't give out that kind of information to strangers.  But, they were curious about the situation. 

So, they looked into it online and learned all about Priest Ysrael Bien.  Including all about the allegations that he placed a hidden camera, designed to look like an electrical outlet, in a church bathroom.

Walton says he immediately looked through their customer records. 

“As soon as I saw his name in the system, I felt like my heart stopped,” said Walton.

Walton says he uncovered receipts, credit card information, shipping information and an IP address that shows Bien bought the camera from them.  He immediately called police.

"As soon as we called, they were incredibly grateful,” said Walton. “They specifically told us we had made their year.”

Investigators say they issued an arrest warrant for Bien right after they got their hands on that evidence.  But, police couldn’t find the priest at his Sherwood home, and they think he may be no longer be in the US.

Leaders at the Archdiocese in Portland believe he went to the Philippines to visit family, but say he has been asked to come back.

Police add that the evidence from SpyGuy Security is critical, because they were never able to recover any video evidence from that hidden camera.

Anyone who knows Bien's location is asked to call the Sherwood Police Department at 503-629-0111 or Detective Debbie Smith at 503-925-7117.

Anyone who believes they may have been a victim of privacy invasion at St. Francis Church is also asked to contact detectives at 503-925-7117.


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