As the owner of Santa Monica Homeopathic Pharmacy, Steve Litvak would be the guy most likely to have a headache cure on hand to handle the massive stress caused by the pandemic and riots.

However, after looters destroyed his business and put him in the hospital this week, Litvak is left to pick up the literal pieces of his life with little more than the support of his employees and the good will of the community.

Litvak said he began Sunday morning developing plans to keep the business running in the face of the ongoing coronavirus health crisis. However, when he heard about the chaos erupting in the city, he abandoned those plans and drove to the business. He reached the location and at first, he and his employees were able to scare off the few looters that came near the store.

However, things took a turn for the worse when Litvak went outside to move his car from the street into the building’s secure garage.

“At the garage, I made eye contact with a woman who was in her car and she started to move it and the gate started to close. I noticed out of the side of my vision a big guy coming in and running. The first blow was from a punch to the head.”

Litvak was also kicked in the back and chest.

“I hit the ground, immediately got back up and started to swing at the big guy, just as I’m swinging at them, they scattered. I don’t think I was targeted, truthfully I don’t think they were bad people, just wrapped up in the adrenaline rush and it ended really bad.”

He made it to his car and tried to call the police.

“It was impossible. I couldn’t even leave a message,” he said.

Following his assault, looters got into the pharmacy.

“The store got destroyed,” he said. “It’s overwhelming, it brought tears to my eyes, it was painful. There was easily $50-75K in damages. They weren’t just stealing. They stole computers some cash, they just tore the store apart. They just broke every glass shelf they could find. They broke cabinets, they broke counters. They broke more than they stole, so we couldn’t reopen.”

The store doesn’t carry prescription drugs so there was little of value to steal however he said the thieves took about $4,500 in cash and several computers. However they didn’t take the server that stored customer data or the equipment needed to process orders.

Litvak praised his staff for quickly cleaning the store and allowing it to reopen as best it can.

“Seventy-two hours ago, the pharmacy looked like a warzone,” he said in a letter to employees. “Besides being hit on the head, my mind was going in a hundred directions. What am I going to do to preserve Litvak family legacy? Seventy hours later and Godspeed you all transformed the store back into a functional business and put my mind to rest. I cannot talk about others, but you are all unbelievably resilient not letting any pandemic or riot block your way to helping others or taking care of your business and families. I don’t know if there is anything that could stop you from getting the job done.”

Employees also organized a fundraiser to help cover repairs. (https://www.gofundme.com/f/lets-help-the-santa-monica-homeopathic-rebuild)

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