updated 4/2/2008 9:22:25 AM ET 2008-04-02T13:22:25

A burglar who broke into a funeral home tried to fool police by playing dead, but two things gave him away.

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First, he breathed. Plus, he wore grungy clothes rather than the Sunday best of those dressed for eternal rest.

Police and the Crespo Funeral Home said Wednesday they have no idea what the 23-year-old Spanish man was trying to steal in the break-in March 17 in Burjassot, a small town just outside Valencia.

Neighbors alerted police when they heard the front door of the business being forced open in the middle of the night.

Police officers arrived with the owner, and eventually found the suspect lying on a table in a glassed-in chamber used for viewings of deceased people during wakes, a local police official said from Burjassot.

"The custom here is for dead people to be dressed in suits, in nice clothes that look presentable. This guy was in everyday clothes that were wrinkled and dirty," the police official said. Department rules barred her from giving her name.

"He was trying to fake being dead, but he was breathing," she said.

The suspect's name was not released. Police said he had served jail time in the past for robbery.

The funeral home said it was mystified as to what the man wanted. There were no valuables or cash in the funeral parlor.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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