CROSSVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Wendy Phillips arrived to find utter destruction at the Crossville-Cumberland County Youth Center Tuesday morning.
"Multiple ceiling tiles damaged where he had stepped through. Hanging and completely just fell through in several different areas," said Phillips.
She followed the damage to the boys restroom, and then the girls.
"I saw a wire hanging, and it was moving. And so I gave it just a few minutes just to make sure. I thought, 'double check',so I got even closer and looked up and he covered his face. So that's when we exited the building and called 911," she said.
When cops showed up, they found Nathan Sherrill in the ceiling. Turns out, he'd been up there all night after breaking in, and had fallen through the ceiling multiple times. Officers found a knife on him linked to another burglary and said in all, he and a juvenile are connected to at least seven other business burglaries in town.
"We had a rash or burglaries. We really didn't have a whole lot to go on. We had blood evidence, but we were going to have to send that to the crime lab and it would be awhlie before we got anything back from that. It helps when the suspect just sort of falls out of the sky and lands in your lap," said Major Mark Rosser, with the Crossville Police Department.
With Sherrill behind bars, the Youth Center can now focus on cleaning up the mess. Workers said fixing the damage will cost thousands, but regaining their sense of security will be even harder.
The other burglaries that Sherrill and the juvenile are linked to include two thrift shops, a bible book store, Emanuel Baptist Church and an attorney's office, where they're accused of stealing AR-15s, a handgun and a shot gun. Police said they stole minor things like change, jewelery and knives from the other places.