Report: Burglar breaks into escape room, calls 911 after he becomes trapped inside
VANCOUVER, WA - Sometimes criminals just bite off more than they can chew, and that was certainly the case for one burglar who reportedly had to think his way out of the 'escape room' he broke into over the weekend.
KPTV reports the alleged burglar, identified as Rye Wardlaw, had broken into the Northwest Escape Experience through the backdoor early Sunday morning. Escape room challenges, like those at Escape Experience, involve locking participants inside a windowless room together with no visible exit. The challenge tasks them with finding clues and solving puzzles that will allow them to escape within the allotted amount of time.
Unfortunately for Wardlaw, he had no choice but to go for it solo after he became locked inside by his own devices. The owners of the business, Rob and Tamara Bertrand, said the burglar had destroyed the rear doorknob on his way in, and using the main entrance proved fruitless for him as well.
“He apparently didn’t know how to use the lock on the front door and was stuck,” Tamara told KPTV.
Trapped inside a cell of pure irony, the burglar had no choice but to call the cops for help. But instead of coming clean from the start, he lied to the 911 operator, reportedly claiming he was calling from the business because his own home was being burglarized.
Deputies say that by the time they got to the strip mall, Wardlaw had finally managed to make his way out. He was taken into custody a short time later.
The owners say the alleged burglar tipped lockers over, destroyed flowers and generally caused mayhem while making himself at home inside their business.
“I feel violated,” Rob said. ‘We’re a small business. We put our heart, soul and money into this place to make it work. Our goal is to bring fun to families and businesses, and it doesn’t feel good to get taken advantage of.”
Wardlaw appeared in court Monday and faces a charge of second-degree burglary. His bail is set at $40,000.
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