Atwater Village jewelry shop ransacked, burglarized during coronavirus closure

Police are looking for three persons of interest caught on video burglarizing Atwater Village jewelry store Han Cholo, which was closed down due to the coronavirus pandemic.
ATWATER VILLAGE, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- With many businesses closed during the coronavirus emergency, some of those shut down shops have been prime targets for thieves. It happened to a jewelry store in Atwater Village, and the crime was caught on surveillance video.

"Every computer has been taken," described Genevieve Leidinghan with the Han Cholo jewelry shop. "Every toy here is taken, as well as all the jewelry."

Nearly 20 years into rebuilding his jewelry collection, Brandon Schoolhouse's store was burglarized in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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"My store was completely ransacked, vandalized and everything, all of our stuff taken over basically overnight," said Schoolhouse said.

The LAPD is investigating and calling three men captured on surveillance footage persons of interest. One is seen leaving the building at Atwater Village, one is seen entering and another is seen standing outside.

Like other businesses, Han Cholo was already facing hard times. Large conventions are how they connect with any customers.

"Beginning of this year, just kind of being up on our website and seeing how we could translate those conversations that we had with people in-person into things that we can do on our social media," said Leidinghan.

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For many struggling small businesses, the federal Paycheck Protection Program was a much needed lifeline to keep them afloat amid the coronavirus pandemic. But nearly two weeks after Congress allocated the $349 billion in emergency funding, it was gone.

The jewelry Schoolhouse designs is inspired by movies, video games and Los Angeles culture. While there has been a decrease in robberies and burglaries during the stay-at-home order in Los Angeles, they hope no other business owners face the same setback.

"I just really hope that like, this isn't a thing. Well, people are at home, trying to just survive and make it through day by day in this pandemic, and just everything that's going on that this isn't a thing that other businesses actually go through," said Leidinghan.

They're encouraged by the support of friends, who even started a account to help.

"It's been really amazing how the community and our friends and family have come together and really supported us. But I don't know, we're just taking it day by day, trying to get things together," Schoolhouse said.
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