A 58-year-old investment broker accused of using a slingshot to smash the windows of cars and businesses in Beverly Hills and along Ventura Boulevard was expected to be arraigned later this month on nearly a dozen felony counts.
Michael Steve Poret, of Encino, was charged Tuesday with six counts of vandalism, five counts of weapons possession and one count of possession of methamphetamine, according to the District Attorney's Office. One of the weapons-possession charges is a misdemeanor, according to prosecutors. All the other counts are felonies.
Poret, who works for a Beverly Hills investment bank, is scheduled to be arraigned Sept. 28 in Beverly Hills.
Poret was initially stopped July 3 by a Beverly Hills police sergeant on routine patrol who became suspicious when he saw a dark colored Toyota Camry without license plates. When the driver parked the car in the 700 block of North Linden Drive, the sergeant made contact with Poret, Beverly Hills Police Department Lt. Lincoln Hoshino said.
As the sergeant was talking to Poret about the lack of license plates, a police dispatcher reported that an act of vandalism had just occurred in the 700 block of North Roxbury Drive. The sergeant became suspicious because of a slingshot on the driver's floorboard, Hoshino said.
Poret was arrested and was immediately suspected in more than 20 other acts of vandalism, police said.
According to Beverly Hills police, numerous slingshots, slingshot ammunition, projectiles, knives, switchblades and throwing stars were found in his car. Poret was eventually released on bail, but he was arrested July 12 by Los Angeles police in connection with the smashing of windows in the San Fernando Valley.
Prosecutors said Poret caused between $65,000 and $125,000 worth of damage in dozens of acts of vandalism between Jan. 27 and July 3. He faces up to 10 years and eight months behind bars if convicted, according to the District Attorney's Office.