So Here’s What Happened

In the interest of information, the Ottumwa YMCA would like to share some of the facts of the post-Thanksgiving event everyone is talking about.

On Friday, November 29th, @ 7a the Ottumwa YMCA opened and it was soon discovered the building had been burglarized over the holiday.

The Ottumwa Police Department and directors Tom Sisler, Kathy Sisler and Garrett Ross were alerted.  Our financial director, Sherry Penniston, arrived by chance moments later.  Opening to the public was delayed by approximately 2 hours while the OPD investigated the scene.  A review of the video security system revealed two males dressed in dark hoodies had broken in around 3a that morning.  The means by which they entered damaged the roof and created issues with our pool, causing us to shut the aquatics department for three days.

Two doors, the roof, and our Member Services area suffered damage.  Sadly, our safe and an undisclosed amount of cash was stolen.  Thankfully, no one was hurt.

We have repaired the vandalized doors and locks.  Thanks to the efforts of Carl Stufflebeam and Lex Rodgers, our maintenance team, we were up and preparing for our swim meet much sooner than we hoped. Security measures are being put into place and we are now leaving the lights on at night.

Taking things a step farther, we are asking you – our Ottumwa- to help us keep our YMCA safe.   If, at any time, you are driving past the Y after hours and see something you regard as suspicious, please alert the authorities.  Examples would be any vehicles or bikes parked at the back of the building or in shadowed parts of parking lot, any activity at the windows along the outside of the building, or any movement of non-staff individuals inside after closing @ 9p on weeknights or 4p on the weekends.

While the experience has made us wiser it in no way changes who we are or what we stand for.  The Ottumwa Family YMCA is here for us all.  We proud of the work we do to be an active, vital part of what is best in our community.  We could imagine no other place to be than here.  Thank you, Ottumwa, for working with us to create a better place to work, play and grow.

Your Ottumwa Family YMCA Staff

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