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'Six burglaries in two years': Waldo business plans to relocate following rise in crime

Strip's Chicken
Posted at 9:06 PM, May 02, 2023

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A string of burglaries is costing local businesses in the Waldo neighborhood and driving others away.

But it isn’t a new problem. Last October, KSHB 41 reported on a string of businesses who had their safes and locked cabinets stolen or broken into.

Today, customers who go to Strip’s Chicken will see a sign on the door that says “no cash." That's because a frustrated small business owner thinks this is one of his last resorts.

"It’s been six burglaries in a little over two years," said Todd Johnson, owner of Strip's Chicken. "At some point, enough is enough."

Johnson's security cameras caught two men breaking through the restaurant's glass door about 3 a.m. early Tuesday morning.

It's the same thing Johnson woke up to a couple of weeks ago. After several attempts trying to kick down a door inside, the vandals ran out.

"It was pretty scary coming in the next morning and seeing the glass shattered on the floor," said John Brooks, an employee at Strip's Chicken. "It was a moment when your heart dropped."

The Kansas City, Missouri, Police Department's crime maps show just how common the crimes have become in Waldo.

"There’s a narrative that crimes like these are victim-less because it’s a corporation," Johnson said. "Well I’ve got car payments and house payments just like everyone else. I have insurance, but my deductible is $5,000."

Several thousand dollars in repairs and security precautions later, Johnson’s store will not take cash, even if it’s costing him hundreds of dollars a day.

"Money’s not everything by any stretch of the imagination," Johnson said. "I’ll happily sell chickens somewhere else."

Johnson said that’s exactly what he’s planning, even if it’s the last thing he wants to do.

"It’s expensive and it’s frustrating," he said. "You don’t have to have a business in a location with a high crime area."

The owner is offering a $1,000 reward for any tips that lead to an arrest.

Several businesses in the area that were not comfortable speaking with KSHB 41 on camera confirmed they are dealing with the same problem.

KCPD has not confirmed whether the burglaries are random or targeted, but did say there are “active investigations" into the burglaries.