A UBS investment adviser was arrested twice this month on suspicion of vandalism -- in this case, smashing windows of businesses and offices in Beverly Hills and Encino, Calif. More than 70 windows have been smashed in the past few months in the two towns.
Police believe Michael Steven Poret, 58, fired marbles with a slingshot from his silver sport utility vehicle into store windows and then drove off, according to the Associated Press. In addition to a slingshot and marbles, police found BB guns, fire arms and brass knuckles in his car.
UBS spokeswoman Karina Byrne said Wednesday that Mr. Poret has been placed on administrative leave "pending the outcome of the police investigation." He is vice president of investments at the Rodeo Drive UBS Financial Services Inc., she said.
He has been an adviser with UBS since June 2008, according to Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc. records. Before UBS, Mr. Poret was a broker with Merrill Lynch in Beverly Hills as early as 1997.
Mr. Poret was released on bail and has not been charged, an AP report said.
A call to Mr. Poret's Encino home went unanswered.
Reports of window-breakings along Ventura Boulevard near Poret's Encino Hills home had been escalating for months, according to the Los Angeles Times. Store owners say they're now pointing their security cameras at the street rather than at their stores.
The police have not uncovered a motive for the vandalism. But according to the AP, one Los Angeles detective theorized the window smasher could be looking for thrills.
Stefan de Nocker owns an office building that was targeted three times. His windows cost $7,000 to fix, according to the L.A. Times. When Poret was arrested, De Nocker was dumbfounded.
"I mean, I know that an investment bankers are a little nuts," De Nocker told the paper. "But you know, maybe the market is that bad. I don't get that. He must be a very frustrated guy."