An Encino man has been arrested on suspicion of felony vandalism in connection with a series of smashed windows at businesses along Ventura Boulevard from Sherman Oaks to Woodland Hills since early this year.
Michael Steven Poret, 58, was arrested yesterday and is being held in the Van Nuys jail on $60,000 bail, according to Los Angeles Police Department detectives.
Most of the smashed windows were on Ventura Boulevard between Haskell Avenue and Balboa Boulevard, according to police. The majority of the crimes were committed at night or in the early morning when it was still dark, police said.
The vandalism has been a persistent problem since May all along the heavily-traveled Ventura Boulevard shopping corridor. Police believed a sling shot or BB gun was used to smash windows in businesses along Ventura Boulevard.
Police said no injuries were reported due to the vandalism.
The Los Angeles Daily News reported that Poret was arrested two times within the past month, with a succession of crimes occuring in between the arrests.
Poret was arrested by Beverly Hills police about 11 a.m. July 3 and released that night on $10,000 bail. It's unclear what he was arrested for.
On Thursday, a Beverly Hills sergeant was on patrol when he saw a vehicle that looked like one of those involved, LAPD Detective William Dunn said.
After that officer pulled the car over, a call came in. Another window had just been shot out.
Dunn told Patch he believes the July 3 arrest was in connection with a similar series of vandalism. We were unable to immediately affirm his belief with the Beverly Hills Police Department; however, the previous arrest did play a role in Thursday night's.
"It was their arrest that made it possible to obtain the search warrant," Dunn said.
Police, armed with a search warrant, recovered evidence from Poret's house, including BB guns, firearms, sling shots and marbles, which, according to the LAPD, were all similar to items used in the crimes.
According to LAPD Det. Louie Velasquez, there have been approximately 40 to 50 incidents of vandalism since the first of the year.
ABC7 reported that the arrest came after a witness provided a description of a balding man in his 50s or 60s. Then a big break came when Beverly Hills police arrested Poret.
"Unbeknownst to us, they were also having similar crimes, approximately 17," Velasquez said.
Anyone with more information about the case was urged to call LAPD West Valley Burglary Detectives William Dunn or Luie Velasquez at (818) 374-7730, or (877) LAPD-24-7.