A burglar in Vancouver, Washington called the authorities on himself after breaking into an escape room.
For those who are unfamiliar this business model, an “escape room” is a timed challenge that requires 2 to 8 patrons to complete a series of puzzles in order to escape from a locked room. The rooms are equipped with unlocked “panic doors” as well as cameras and microphones for the staff to monitor customers.
Escape rooms have become increasingly popular across the country over the past five years. Different businesses will offer a variety of themes including zombies, haunted mansions, murder mysteries, and more.
The NW Escape Experience in Vancouver has three themed challenge rooms, the comedic “Hangover Hotel”; “the FBI Investigation,” based on the D.B. Cooper mystery, and the creepy “Kill Room” serial killer adventure.
“If you don’t know what you’re getting into, stepping into that room is actually pretty scary,” the owner told the Washington Post about their most frightening room, which includes bloody hand prints and the words “The Kill Room” scratched into the walls.
Security cameras captured Rye Wardlaw, the burglar, stealing a non-working phone, television remote, and food from the staff refrigerator before entering the dimly lit “Kill Room.”
The petty thief briefly trapped himself in the terrifying room before eventually finding the panic door, which always remains unlocked. “He was in the lobby when he called 911,” NW Escape Experience explained on their Facebook page. Wardlaw made four panicked calls to 911 claiming to have found a murder scene.
Police arrived a few minutes later and charged Wardlaw with second-degree burglary. He is scheduled to appear in court on July 20, 2018.
Watch a commercial for NW Escape Experience’s “The Kill Room” experience in the video below.