One Of Nantucket's Most Historic Homes Vandalized In Bloody Break-In

Jason Graziadei •

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One of Nantucket's most historic residences was vandalized during a bloody break-in earlier this month that ended with $20,000 in damages inside the nearly 200-year-old brick home on Pleasant Street.

A resident of the home was uninjured during the break-in, which occurred during the early morning hours on the Fourth of July, but the suspect remains at large.

The property at 19 Pleasant Street, an estate known as "Moors End" that includes three other lots on Mill Street and Candlehouse Lane bounded by long brick walls, is currently on the market for $28 million. Built by the whaleship captain Jared Coffin between 1829 and 1834, it is the oldest brick home on the island and is considered "Nantucket's First Trophy Home." It even has its own page on the Library of Congress website.

According to police chief Bill Pittman, the perpetrator gained access to the home by breaking a glass panel on a side door. Once inside, they destroyed numerous items including paintings, vases, drywall, and glass cabinets.

"Officers also found evidence of blood spattered throughout the crime scene," Pittman stated in an e-mail to the Current.

The occupant of the home called 911 around 2:07 a.m. and stated they believed there was an unknown and unauthorized person inside the residence actively breaking things. Throughout the incident, however, they never made contact with the intruder.

When police officers arrived they discovered the damaged residence and blood spatter inside, but after thoroughly checking the interior of the home, they determined that the intruder had fled the scene.

A nearby resident later reported seeing a male party leaving the area just as officers arrived. A subsequent search of the surrounding area also turned up nothing.

Pittman stated Nantucket Police Department detectives gathered "significant physical evidence, including human blood, at the crime scene which has been turned over to the Barnstable County Bureau of Criminal Investigations for processing." 

It's unclear if Moors End was specifically targeted by the intruder, or whether the break-in was random or a crime of opportunity.

On Tuesday of this week, no one was home at the residence when a reporter stopped by to ask about the break-in.

The home was last purchased in 1986 by Marilyn Whitney who acquired it that year for $1.4 million. It has since been transferred into the Whitney family's limited liability company known as First Brick LLC. 

According to a listing of the home, the interior includes numerous treasures, including "a continuous panorama mural depicting the journey of Nantucket whaling voyages signed by Stanley Rowland in 1926" and "hand-painted French wallpaper describing the story of Captain Cook’s South Sea sailing expeditions." It's unclear if any of those areas of the home were vandalized in the break-in.

The investigation, Pittman said, is ongoing.

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