A man wearing a Halloween mask surprised a clerk working at Cash in a Flash Saturday morning when he fell through the ceiling in what police are calling a “daring daylight robbery.”

The man, who allegedly locked the woman in a back room, escaped the East Lincoln Way store with an unknown amount of money from the safe as people went about their business outside.

The suspect told the clerk he had a gun, according to LaPorte City Police Chief of Detectives Capt. Lynn Cains.

“The parking lot was full. It was a typical Saturday morning where everybody was shopping and running around,” he said.

Before the robbery, Cains said the suspect and two other men reportedly waited for several hours in the empty Jackson Hewitt office next door to the business at 613 E. Lincoln Way before they climbed into the ceiling at 10:30 a.m.

“They gave the clerk time to open the safe,” Cains said of the planned robbery.

But the plans went awry when one of the men fell through the ceiling instead of crawling down, he said.

“They had planned to go in and surprise the clerk, but they probably surprised themselves as much as her.”