Barnstead man charged with stealing truck that owner's son allegedly gave him keys to — to facilitate pot purchase

ALTON — A Barnstead man was ordered held on $15,000 cash-only bail yesterday after being charged over the weekend with stealing a car from a Main Street family in March.
Paul I. Malm, 20, of 270 Garland Road appeared by video yesterday in the 4th Circuit Court, Laconia Division on charges of receiving stolen property, theft of a motor vehicle, and conspiracy to commit (the purchase of marijuana).
Wearing a white T-Shirt with "Grab Some Buds" lettered in red on the front, Malm said nothing during his appearance. He was arrested yesterday by Pittsfield Police on the Alton arrest warrant.
According to police affidavits obtained from court, Rochester Police notified Alton Police that they found a burned up pickup on March 11 that was registered to an Alton resident. Rochester Police also told Alton Police they had reason to believe the truck was used that same evening in an attempted burglary at a store on Route 11 in Farmington. The truck was found shortly after the attempted burglary on fire by Rochester Police.
Alton Police interviewed the owners and their minor son, who all told police they were sleeping the night before and had not heard anything.
The owners called back the Alton Police and told them they had additional information about the truck because their son had just told them he allegedly gave the keys to Malm and a second suspect so they could go and buy him more than an ounce of marijuana. Affidavits said he told police he gave them $1,170.
When police returned to the couple's home, they learned $1,000 and a hand gun were missing from a gun safe. The minor child told police Malm and the other man — who is in the N.H. State Prison on an unrelated offense — that the money was stolen.
Alton's prosecutor argued for $15,000 bail because Malm had been in Florida for much of the time after he allegedly stole the truck and that he was often transient — spending much of his time "camping."
Malm's public defender argued for $500 cash because his parents had agreed he could stay with them and he would check in with Barnstead Police on whatever schedule was set by the court.
Carroll decided to hold him on $15,000 cash-only and set a probable cause hearing for next week.
Police Chief Ryan Heath said yesterday the gun has been recovered and the matter is still under investigation. He said additional charges could be forthcoming.