September 26th, 2018

Local woman who escaped jail nabbed at escape room business in Edmonton

By Peggy Revell on October 6, 2017.

A Medicine Hat woman who escaped from the Edmonton Institution for Women Monday has been recaptured — coincidentally, at an “escape room” entertainment business.

Officials report that Kelsie Laine Marie Mast, 23, and Samantha Faye Toope, 20, were arrested 24 hours after they jumped a fence on the east side of the prison at a downtown Edmonton entertainment complex where people pay to be put into a themed room and figure out how to escape by solving puzzles.

Co-owners Rebecca and Jonathan Liaw of SideQuests Adventures told CTV Edmonton that the woman came into the business and started asking “pretty typical” questions about what an escape room is, how it worked and if they could see one.

Rebecca said there was nothing unusual about the encounter until a police officer walked in and asked if two women had come in without an appointment.

Jonathan said the officer asked which room the women were in, then called for backup, waiting briefly for four more officers to show up.

“They were arrested and walked straight out very quietly after that,” said Rebecca. “Not exactly what I expected when they wanted to know about escape rooms.”

Police said later the two were in police custody but would be returned to the prison on the city’s west end. They had been tipped to their presence downtown by a member of the public.

Mast hails from Medicine Hat and in June was sentenced here to 34 months after pleading guilty to three counts of trafficking meth and witness intimidation after she texted threats to the undercover officer who had been part of her trafficking arrest. On top of this, she pled guilty to multiple stolen property charges that include a pitbull puppy taken when Mast was a guest at another person’s house, and slashing the tires of a person’s vehicle after a disagreement with them.

Police say both women are violent with a history of weapons offences and shouldn’t be approached.

–with files from The Canadian Press

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