LINDEN, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A worker at Kwik Check Cashing in Linden apparently turned the tables on a masked burglar who dropped in from the ceiling Tuesday night.

Police Lt. James Sarnicki told 1010 WINS the suspect “entered an adjacent, vacant business through a rear door” and then apparently climbed up through the ceiling tiles and crawled through to the check-cashing business.

1010 WINS’ Glenn Schuck reports on the encounter

“The only obstruction he had was a sheet rock wall which he apparently used a screwdriver to knock down,” Sarnicki said.

Once the suspect crashed through the ceiling he confronted employee Fred Paz — who was closing up for the night– and threatened to stab him with the screwdriver.

Police said Paz picked up a fire extinguisher and threw it at the suspect, momentarily stunning him.

“I think he just reacted to preserve his safety,” Sarnicki said. “He was just fighting for his life at that point and when he had the fire extinguisher available to him he just picked it up and threw it. I think it was pretty much a reflex action.”

Paz was able to trigger the burglar alarm, run out the front door and lock the suspect inside the store.

When police arrived at the scene, the suspect was gone. He apparently escaped the same way he came in.

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