Police Arrest Suspect In Bloody Break-In At Historic Home

Jason Graziadei •

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

Nantucket Police have made an arrest in the bloody break-in at one of the island's most historic residences last month that caused $20,000 in damages inside the nearly 200-year-old brick home on Pleasant Street.

An island resident, Bradford R. Grant, 47, is expected to be arraigned Monday morning in Nantucket District Court on charges related to the incident that occurred in the early morning hours of July 4, including unarmed burglary, felony breaking and entering a building in the nighttime, defacing property, and trespassing.

It's not yet clear how police identified Grant as a suspect, but detectives did obtain "significant physical evidence" including human blood at the crime scene which was subsequently turned over to the Barnstable County Bureau of Criminal Investigations for processing in the aftermath 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.

A resident of the home was uninjured during the break-in. They called 911 around 2:07 a.m. on July 4th 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.

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.

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.

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

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.

This story will be updated as we will have additional details on the arrest following Monday morning's arraignment. 

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