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WeHo 'Riot' boutique wiped out by burglars

July 28, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
A brazen heist at a local boutique: The store shelves were once fully stocked. But now the mannequins are bare, the shelves empty, and the hangers left without a stitch of clothing. The bandits made off with everything inside the boutique along Melrose Avenue in West Hollywood.The "Riot" store is a clothing store with no clothing.

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"We were fully stocked," said designer Keoki Tavares. "Plus the jewelry, shoes ... everything."

Just a few days ago, the store was fully stocked with clothes, the racks layered with high-end apparel, some dresses and suits sporting price tags from $3,000 to $10,000. But Sunday morning, the owners of Riot walked in to find scattered hangers and the dying echoes of what was supposed to be their big business success.

"They took everything," said designer Max Nugus. "I mean, this is my whole life work, and it's just gone overnight."

Tavares and Nugus just opened Riot a couple weeks ago. Though their front door warns of a security system, the two men said they never had it installed. They suspect the burglars pried their way in the front door and loaded a big truck parked in the back. Stolen: More than $300,000 worth of merchandise that they say won't be covered by insurance.

"In order to obtain that kind of insurance, you have to wait for the insurance company to come in, take a picture of the store, then they will let you know what kind of alarm system you'd need, and so we don't even have insurance yet. It was going to happen this week," said Nugus.

The two designers say their clothing is easily identified by their Riot and Max Nugus labels. Some of the stolen clothing bears panda and sea-horse designs.

Being designers, Tavares and Nugus know all about linings, but they're still struggling to find the silver one here.

"This was my first collection, and I guess someone liked it a lot, enough to kind of wipe me out," said Tavares.

The Sheriff's Department will brush for fingerprints. In the meantime, the owners are asking people to keep an eye out for their labels and designs, and if they spot them, to call the Sheriff's Department.

 

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