Richmond County sheriff's Sgt. Dan Carrier said Carl Thurmond was in the middle of a burglary on Daisy Lane about 9 p.m. when someone came home.
In an attempt to get away, the Hephzibah man jumped from the deck but landed on his head. He was taken to a hospital with broken vertebrae.
When authorities arrived, Thurmond still had a remote from a TV he was attempting to steal in his pocket, police said.