Plymouth man arrested for series of house breaks

Police investigated a series of house breaks on Beach Road in Oak Bluffs. — Photo by Steve Myrick

Oak Bluffs police arrested a Plymouth man on November 10, after investigating a cluster of five house breaks. In the fifth house break, the intruder encountered a homeowner, who immediately called police.

Police charged Matthew Duggan, 42, of Plymouth with vandalism and breaking and entering.

Police responded to a house on Beach Road across from the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital, where a resident said someone broke a window with a cinder block and tried to enter her house. When police arrived, the intruder was gone. As they searched, they discovered broken windows and forced doors at four other houses on Beach Road.

After a short search, police found Mr. Duggan walking along Beach Road. He denied he was involved.

Police said his appearance and clothing matched the description they were given by the homeowner who had alerted them. Officers James Morse and Jeff LaBell gathered more evidence that implicated Mr. Duggan.

“We located several foot prints and photographed them,” Officer Morse wrote in his report. “When Officer LaBell took off Duggan’s right sneaker and brought it to the trunk of the police cruiser, to examine it against the footprints around several houses, a shard of glass fell out.”

Police say Mr. Duggan then confessed to the break-ins and said he was looking for alcohol.

At the time of his arrest, Mr. Duggan was wearing an identification bracelet from the hospital and had an open wound on his forehead. According to the police report, the officers observed signs of intoxication.

Police arrested Mr. Duggan and drove him to the Dukes County Jail.

According to court records, Mr. Duggan was arrested on the Island in 2007, and again in 2010, on charges of drunk driving.