STUDIO CITY—In 2012, Helen Gooch, the owner of the Indian Art Center of California on Ventura Boulevard, was robbed of over $150,000 of Native American merchandise.
Gooch purchased insurance through Hanover Insurance Group recommended to her by other small business owners., but they have not paid the entire insurance policy placed on the store. Canyon News reached out to Hanover Insurance Group who would not release a statement about the situation. The Indian Art Center of California is at risk of closing its doors. Gooch, 73, does not have the funds to replace the items sold in the store without the assistance of Hanover. Samuel Bruchey has been representing Gooch in the dispute with Hanover, and believes they have a good chance of winning the case.
When the store was robbed back in 2012, robbers tied and gagged an elderly employee while they walked out with thousands of dollars worth of silver, jewelry, and figurines. The Southwestern tribes are represented in the store with silver and turquoise trinkets, canes, and Kachina dolls. Because of the workers compensation that had to be paid out, her insurance company dropped the store as a client once they finished paying.
This is the second time the store will be considered for closing, last year Gooch could not close the business that her late husband founded. The locals have done their best to help by sending money, collectibles, and working for free. Gooch is now the only employee at the store who once had eight.