A man charged with multiple home burglaries tearfully apologized to his family and his victims for his alleged transgressions on Thursday.
Brett Atwell and Mario Martin were taken into custody on Tuesday on charges of aggravated burglary and theft over $1,000.
Maury County detectives told Nashville's News 2 the pair is believed to be responsible for tens of thousands of dollars of stolen merchandise in at least seven home burglaries in Maury and Marshall counties.
Lawmen said the stolen items included more than a dozen high powered rifles and cash among other items.
Atwell, who remains jailed, told Nashville's News 2 Investigates that he is sorry for his actions.
“When I was a kid, my mom read me a book, ‘How the Grinch Stole Christmas.' I'm not green, but I feel worse than the Grinch. The worse part of all of it, for my daddy and my little girl, and my family, they are the ones who will suffer more than anyone else. I have never done this before, but I did this at the worst time of year, at Christmas when there is suppose to be joy and goodwill,” he said tearfully.
Atwell continued, “I don't know anyone this stuff happened to, but I would like to say I am sorry. I would like to say one thing, like I told my daughter, if you do something wrong or foul in this world; you must account for it and if you run away it will never go you will be miserable. And to the people I hurt, I am happy to return your items but the safety you feel in your home, the memories you have of the items you know someone took from you, I can never say I am sorry enough for that.”
Atwell told Nashville's News 2 Investigates that he was not stockpiling the weapons to do anything brash or to cause harm.
“The reason it started, I just wanted to go home to my mom in Illinois and the money would get me there,” he explained, adding, “The hardest part of all of this, is what I did inside me.”
Detectives said by the time the total of stolen items are calculated, it could be near $100,000.
Authorities have identified four of the stolen rifles.