CAROLINA BEACH, NC (WWAY) -- A real-life Grinch is accused of stealing Christmas from nearly 70 people in Carolina Beach. Today, the suspect spoke out and said he just wanted Christmas, too.
Timothy Gillespie, 45 faces nine misdemeanors and one felony. Police say they found bags of stolen mail in his home and expect the number of victims to grow after more investigating.
"It's just, I felt, how can I put it, alone, because there is nobody on the island that I can talk to," Gillespie said. "Nobody wanted to be my friends."
Police arrested Gillespie after finding "bags and bags" of stolen mail in his home. Gillespie targeted at least 68 residents of Carolina Beach.
He said he started stealing mail in early November and up through the holidays, but he says he is no Grinch.
"My purpose was to have a Christmas of myself," he said.
Gillespie said the mail reminded him of Christmas, a holiday he never gets to enjoy any more.
"When I celebrate Christmas, I celebrate it with my family, but I have no family left," Gillespie said.
Gillespie said he learned from his mistakes. He knows he was in the wrong and has turned to god to help him do right.
"I've been reading the Bible and redoing my thoughts not to do it again," he said. "I hope that I can meet the people that I have done this to and apologize to them face to face."
Postal inspectors say if Gillespie is convicted, he could face up to five years in prison.
Gillespie says he has served time before and is prepared to do it again.