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Break-in at Waterloo escape room described as 'invasive' by staff


An escape room in Waterloo is out cash and electronics after someone broke in on Sunday morning.

According to Waterloo Regional Police, a suspect entered TRAPPED Escape Room Kitchener-Waterloo and stole cash and property around 5:15 a.m. Sunday morning.

The store owner said when she first arrived the front door was unlocked. At first she thought someone had arrived early and opened the shop, but then noticed the mess behind the cash register.

“The person ended up breaking into the lock box, stole the keys. It was a lot,” Melisa Vong, Owner of TRAPPED Escape Room Kitchener-Waterloo said. “A very invasive feeling. I grew up in Kitchener-Waterloo all my life, and this is my home. We only just opened up three months ago.”

Items dumped nearby

Security footage showed the thief was not inside for long and didn’t make it to any of the escape rooms. Vong said they made off with around $400, a few tablets and electronics, and damaged their debit machine. TRAPPED later found some items dumped in a wooded area a few doors down.

“Not the money, but the cash box I found, a couple of the tip jars. Everything is obviously smashed,” John Marzo, Assistant Manager of TRAPPED Escape Room Kitchener-Waterloo.

Vong said they’re working with nearby businesses to try and gather more security footage.

TRAPPED’s neighbour Sports Zone said they saw some theft a few years ago, but most of the crime in the area recently is more related to trespassing.

“The bigger thing I’ve seen around here is after hours when we’re not open, certain individuals will sit back here, because it’s a little more secluded, and either drink or unfortunately take drugs,” Vince Turkalj, Owner of Sports Zone said.

TRAPPED did try and make light of the situation, posting the security footage online, with a caption joking the robber got stuck overnight. About halfway through their post, the video mixes with a video of their own, showing Vong dressed up as the thief and pretending to get stuck.

“Then the last two clips, basically I just put on an oversized jacket and pretended I went into one of the escape rooms and then got locked inside the escape room,” Vong said.

Vong said the cheeky rendition of the thief appearing to be stuck inside represents an alternate universe where the robber didn’t get out. The video is now garnering some extra attention for the business.

“We’ve actually had a lot of engagement on our social media, people kind of sharing their solitude and just support. Just seeing that from the community has been very heartwarming,” Vong said.

Waterloo Regional Police are still searching for the suspect and say the investigation is ongoing. Police are asking anyone with information related to the investigation to contact them. Top Stories

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