Published DateGILFORD — A Belmont man was ordered held on $5,000 cash bail Wednesday for allegedly stealing some money from a woman's home in which he was a guest.
According to affidavits from Gilford Police, Dean M. LaPlante, 19, of 129 Lamprey Road took between $1,000 to $1,500 in cash from a strong box under the bed of a home on Lake Shore Road.
Police said the victim and her three youngest children were on vacation and returned home on February 5. She said her eldest daughter stayed home and had three friends come over to watch television — one of whom was LaPlante.
The day after she returned from vacation she went to look for her strong box and noticed it was missing. She said she also noticed her jewelry box was in disarray.
She told police the next day that the lock box contained "several pieces of valuable jewelry that she had been collecting her whole life" as well as several important documents and $5,470 in cash.
He daughter told police that she believed LaPlante had a "drug problem" and had stolen from her and her friends.
The investigating office contacted local pawn shops the day of the report and one shop in Tilton told her that LaPlante was in there "all the time" and had been there within the past few days to sell some jewelry and some "scrap gold."
Tilton Police took custody of two pieces of jewelry,
including a Tahitian pearl necklace that the victim described as "very rare and precious" and some gold earrings for which he received $68. Tilton Police took custody of two items of jewelry and the victim was able to positively identify the pearl necklace as hers.
On February 12, LaPlante went to the police station voluntarily to be interviewed. The interview was taped and recorded. Affidavits said he signed a statement saying he stole the lock box and pried it open but there was $1,140 in it.
He told police he no longer had any of the victim's jewelry and that he had panicked and hid the lock box in a tree house. He said it still contained a passport and some other papers, and he could retrieve it and return it by 6 p.m. that day.
He said he had also sold a number of pieces of jewelry from the box to a Laconia pawn shop and had gotten $425 for them.
When he didn't return to the police station by 6 p.m., the investigating officer tried to contact him the next day. Unsuccessful, she applied for and received a warrant for his arrest.
He was charged with one count of theft by unauthorized taking and once count of breach of bail because he committed the alleged theft of the money occurred while he was on bail after being arrested by Belmont Police for one count of burglary in December.
Judge Jim Carroll ordered he be held on $5,000 cash bail unless he could gain acceptance into a facility for drug treatment. Carroll also ordered the Belknap Department of Corrections to help get LaPlante into a such a program.
Bredbury said yesterday the Gilford Police and the Belknap County Attorney are still investigating the theft.
As of 4 p.m. yesterday, LaPlante was no longer at the Belknap County House of Corrections.