Suspect In Historic Mansion Break-In Arraigned On Four Charges

David Creed •

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The brick home on Pleasant Street known as "Moors End," one of the most historic properties on Nantucket.

The suspect in a bloody break-in at one of Nantucket's most historic residences last month was apprehended after Nantucket Police Department detectives lifted fingerprints from the crime scene that allowed them to identify the alleged culprit.

Bradford Grant, 47, of Nantucket, was arraigned in Nantucket District Court Monday morning after police arrested him on Friday for his alleged involvement in the break-in at 19 Pleasant Street which caused $20,000 in damages inside the nearly 200-year-old brick home.

Grant pleaded not guilty to charges of unarmed burglary, breaking and entering a building in the nighttime for a felony, defacing property, and trespassing stemming from the incident on July 4.

Court documents obtained by the Current showed Grant acknowledged his involvement in the incident, and told investigators he had “drank a lot of tequila" on the night of the break-in.

The property at 19 Pleasant Street, an estate known as "Moors End" 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 the police report, when officers arrived on the scene of the break-in, they observed paintings taken off the wall and thrown on the floor, multiple glass vases scattered across the floor, broken soapstone countertops in the kitchen, broken glass panes in doors and cabinets, a shattered glass lamp, punctured drywall, and blood spattered and smeared throughout the home on walls, doors, carpets, and furniture.

When NPD detectives arrived on the scene, they noticed the barn located on the property had also been broken into. When they entered the barn, they observed a shattered glass window, items scattered both inside and outside, and that a 1930s Ford antique car had been “tampered” with.

Police added that there was blood smeared and spattered throughout the barn and on the antique car. The barn’s large doors were left open and a nearby wooden gate had been vandalized as well. Police also noticed that portions of wooden balusters had been ripped from the gate and that the gate had been forcibly pushed out and damaged from what appeared to be Grant allegedly attempting to force the gate open.

Police then began collecting evidence in an attempt to identify the individual responsible. They found a pink glass vase on the second floor of the residence and noticed fingerprints near the top. The vase was transferred to the Barnstable County Bureau of Criminal Investigations for processing. They also collected a blue baseball cap and a pair of Costa sunglasses – which were discovered on the first floor.

Approximately nine days later, NPD received a report from the Barnstable County’s Sheriff’s Office on July 13 indicating that they had processed the vase for fingerprints, lifted two prints, and entered them into an identification system, and the entries resulted in the identification of two people, one of which was Grant.

When police approached the homeowner, she told NPD that the first person identified by the fingerprints was authorized to be on the property and had done work inside and out for several years. She said she would expect that individual’s fingerprints to be in the home. When NPD mentioned Grant to the homeowner, she stated she did not know who that was and that he was never permitted on the property.

NPD interviewed Grant on August 18. When the incident was explained to Grant, he allegedly told police “It was me” and that he had gone out that night with a friend and “drank a lot of tequila.” During the interview, he told police multiple times he wanted to take care of the situation and put it behind him.

Grant was ordered to return to court on Oct. 2 for a pretrial hearing. He is being represented by attorney Jim Merberg.

This story will be updated.

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