VANCOUVER, Wa. — Generally, you’re supposed to break out of an escape room, not into one. But in Vancouver, Washington, a man had to call the police for help after he broke into NW Escape Experience and couldn’t get out.
“Once we got down there [to the business] and realized the damage was minimal, we just thought it was hilarious,” owner Rob Bertrand told CNN Tuesday.
Escape rooms have gained popularity in recent years. Groups work together under a time limit, finding clues and solving puzzles, to get out of rooms.
The burglar inadvertently tried his hand at the team-building craze on Sunday morning.
“When he got in he just kind of made himself at home,” Bertrand said. “He actually stole one beer from the refrigerator. The police say he also had a burrito.”
“We assume he was going to have a nice warm breakfast,” he added.
In addition to the beer, the man also allegedly stole a cell phone and a TV remote.
The man then tried to get out the back door, Bertrand said, but he had damaged it so badly trying to get in, he couldn’t open it.
So he called 911, using the phone at the front desk. Eventually, he did manage to get out the back door, only to run into a police officer who promptly arrested him, Bertrand said.
The suspect faces a charge of 2nd-degree burglary, according to CNN affiliate KOIN. CNN has reached out to the Clark County Sheriff’s Office for comment.
The man was inside the business for at least 35 minutes. That beats many people who attempt NW Escape Experience’s escape rooms – visitors usually spend an average of 50 to 58 minutes trying to get out. The record is about 33 minutes. However, Bertrand says the suspect’s time won’t count.
“He did call 911. That’s not a win. He quit,” Bertrand said.
Bertrand is excited about the business’ new claim to fame.
“We’re going to start claiming that we’re the only escape room in the nation that has 100 percent capture rate for criminals,” he said.