Looters ransack 118-year-old music store in DTLA

One of the oldest music stores in DTLA, The International House of Music, Inc., was ransacked by looters over the weekend, who stole an estimated hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of equipment.
DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Employees at The International House of Music, Inc., started cleaning up the shattered glass and destruction left by looters after the store was ransacked Saturday night.

"We just went through COVID and we were just barely about a week opening in, trying to get back in, trying to get our employees back in," said Oscar Naranjo Jr., co-owner of the store. "We got to move forward and now with this, it's hard."

The owners estimate hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of merchandise was stolen from the music store.

"It's mixed feelings because they didn't take everything, they didn't burn it down. So, we're grateful for one thing," said Naranjo. "But the reality is they did ... it's not just on TV anymore, it's real."

The looters left a large display of guitars nearly empty, but they didn't ransack the entire store. The acoustic room, with about $150,000 worth of equipment was untouched. According to the owners, the lights were off in this room and the door was closed.

"There were items in here from other stores. Some bags," said Naranjo. "Mixed in with shoes thrown everywhere. Because maybe they had one pair of shoes and they'd rather take a guitar than a shoe."

The store will temporarily be closed to the public until it's safe to reopen, according to the owners.

"It's so many mixed feelings. We understand why this is going on and I think there needs to be a change," said Naranjo. "But I don't think this is the right way."

The business is one of the oldest music stores in Downtown Los Angeles -- which dates back to 1902.

During the LA riots, individuals shattered the windows but didn't ransack the store, according to the owner.

"We don't know exactly why they stopped at breaking the windows in 1992," said Naranjo. "We were blessed for some reason, and we're still blessed that the store is still standing after what happened last Saturday night, too."

The owners moved in October 2019 to their new location in the Fashion District.

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