White Collar Vandal Suspected of Terrorizing Beverly Hills
Angelenos have been flummoxed for months regarding a string of vandalism incidents in Beverly Hills and along Ventura Boulevard. Windows in dozens of homes and businesses have been shattered in what authorities suspected to be the work of some local hooligans. As of this week, though, it looks like there's no need to fear for you and your windows' safety anymore: the Los Angeles Police Department has finally tracked down a suspect. And he's an unlikely one.
The Los Angeles Times reported today that 58-year old Michael Steven Poret, an investment adviser at UBS Financial Services in Beverly Hills, was arrested by the LAPD on the suspicion that he's behind the attacks. Last week, police raided his home in the hills of Encino to find a vandal's war chest: slingshots, marbles, BB guns and firearms.
The evidence had been mounting against Poret for some time. Earlier this month, he was arrested on suspicion that he had smashed numerous windows on Roxbury Drive in Beverly Hills. An eyewitness later described a gray-haired man in his luxury SUV on Ventura Boulevard firing a slingshot from inside his car.
Authorities began to make sense of the clues. The Times story states that "the vandal worked mostly at night and on weekends and appeared to target businesses indiscriminately." He was "matter-of-fact" and "blended in with the scenery." Charges have not been filed yet, but Poret -- who also worked at Merrill Lynch for over a decade -- has been placed on leave by UBS.
If the allegations are true, Poret racked up tens of thousands of dollars worth of damage and deeply shook local businesses during his vandalism spree. LAPD Detective Luie Velasquez said police still were unsure of his motive, but he added, "For whatever reason, these individuals get some kind of thrill from smashing windows." No word yet on whether this bizarre -- and uniquely Los Angeles -- tale has been adapted into a screenplay.