Deputies: Burglar dies after falling down stairs - FOX Carolina 21

Deputies: Burglar dies after falling down stairs

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Deputies say they found the body of an alleged burglar at a home on S. Blackstock Road. (June 7, 2012/FOX Carolina) Deputies say they found the body of an alleged burglar at a home on S. Blackstock Road. (June 7, 2012/FOX Carolina)
Robert Powell (Spartanburg Co. Detention Facility) Robert Powell (Spartanburg Co. Detention Facility)

Deputies said a Spartanburg man broke into a home and was later found dead at the base of a set of steps leading to the basement on Thursday.

Spartanburg County deputies were called to 149 S. Blackstock Rd. about 9 a.m. for a burglary after a painter arrived about 8:30 a.m. to find broken windows.

Upon arrival, deputies found where a window had been broken out along the rear of the residence and while searching the home, they said they found the body of a male lying at the foot of the stairs going into the basement.

Investigators said they believe that the man, identified by the coroner as 52-year-old Robert Powell, was the person who had broken into the home. And it's the kind of case investigators don't see often.

"It's odd, very odd, we don't see this everyday," said Spartanburg County Sheriff Chuck Wright.

SLIDESHOW: Deputies find body inside Spartanburg home

The case caught the neighborhoods's attention.

"A few minutes later, a whole bunch of police cars and lots of others came, we weren't sure what was happening," said Dennis Tipton.  

Investigators said they found a clue to why Powell may have been in the home.

"From what I gather, he had copper in his back pocket," said Wright. "I'm not sure what he was doing, he might have been seeking shelter, I just don't know."

Powell's neighbors said he was a quiet man, but they say he also had hinted that he had a bad habit.

"He would go into abandoned houses and get stuff, that's what he told me a few times," said neighbor Dilon Childers. "It surprised me, Robert didn't seem like a bad guy." 

Deputies said they do not believe anyone else was with this person at the time of the break-in. The home is vacant and currently being remodeled, deputies said.

According to deputies, because the home was being remodeled, there were no appliances to take. The last time anyone was at the home was 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, the owner told deputies.

FOX Carolina crews at the scene said there was a for-sale sign in the yard.

Spartanburg County Coroner's Investigator Dwayne Corn said an autopsy was scheduled for Thursday evening.

Copyright 2012 FOX Carolina (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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