They escaped prison — but couldn’t make it out of the ‘escape room,’ police say

Samantha Toope and Kelsie Mast were arrested after police say they escaped from prison.
Samantha Toope and Kelsie Mast were arrested after police say they escaped from prison. Edmonton Police Service

It was no problem for two Canadian women to escape prison.

But the local escape room? That’s a whole different question.

Kelsie Laine Marie Mast, 23, and Samantha Faye Toope, 20, escaped from prison in Edmonton, Canada Monday night — only to be caught Tuesday evening at a SideQuests Adventures escape room, police say.

Escape rooms, which have recently become popular, are a paid experience where customers are locked in a room and have to solve a variety of challenges and puzzles to escape before time runs out.

Mast and Toope, however, weren’t able to get out of the escape room before police got to them.

Rebecca Liaw, who owns the escape room in downtown Edmonton, said two women entered the business 8:30 p.m. and said they have never been inside an escape room.

The women said they were from out of town, according to Global News, and asked if they could have a tour of the rooms.

But as Rebecca showed the curious pair how one escape room worked, police arrived and asked Rebecca’s husband Jonathan Liaw, who was at the front desk, if two women without appointments had walked into the business.

He said they had, according to CBC. The five police officers quickly handcuffed the women once Jonathan told them what room they were in.

“While I was holding that conversation with them, we kind of turned only to find the hallway full of five police officers,” Rebecca told CBC. “Then they were arrested immediately, and that was the end of that conversation.”

The quick turn of events stunned Jonathan, who told CBC that the women were dressed normally and asked questions typical of any visitor to the escape room.

“Not exactly what I expected when they wanted to know about escape rooms,” Rebecca added to the Global News.

Police, who said a member of the public saw the women downtown and told authorities, had warned that Mast and Toope were dangerous; they have a history of weapon charges and are known to be violent, according to the National Post.

It’s still not yet known how the women escaped from prison. But Jonathan said he knows one thing for sure — it’s an experience he’s not likely to forget anytime soon.

“We get lots of interesting visitors,” he said, “but this is definitely top of the list for ‘definitely interesting.’”