TikTok influencer Johnny Youssef’s endeavor to renovate a historic church in Kansas City, Missouri, has been marred encounters with criminals. Melrose Abbey, known as the “First Swedish Church” in the area, was purchased Youssef with the intention of turning it into a wedding venue. However, his TikTok account, initially meant to document the renovation process, has now become a record of numerous crimes committed at the property.
Youssef has documented incidents of trespassing, theft, and destruction of property. Criminals have broken into the ceiling, stolen construction equipment, and even tipped over the on-site port-a-potty. Youssef expressed his surprise at the severity of the situation, stating, “I expected that we’ll have an attempted break-in here or there, but I did not expect it to be this bad.”
Despite the challenges, Youssef’s website for the venue is already accepting inquiries. The planned renovations for the 24,000 square-foot space include a ceremony area, bridal suite, groom suite, two hotel rooms, two bars, and a warming kitchen. The estimated capacity of the venue is 230 people.
According to the Missouri Incident-Based Reporting System, reported crimes in the area have increased 8% between 2020 and 2022, with larceny alone seeing a rise of over 6% since last year. Businesses have been frequent targets of theft incidents, accounting for nearly a quarter of the reported incidents.
Unfortunately, the clearance rate for these crimes is below 9%, indicating a low likelihood of apprehension for most thieves.
It remains to be seen when the renovation of Melrose Abbey will be completed, but Youssef’s dedication to the project and his ability to handle the challenges he has faced so far are commendable.
– Missouri Incident-Based Reporting System (No URL provided)
– Fox News (No URL provided)