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Group Gets Closure After Arrest
CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (CBS 2/FOX 28) -- Last December we brought you the story of Sportability of Iowa, a group that provides sports and recreation opportunities for people of all ages with disabilities.
About 14 of their wheelchairs were stolen from the parking lot of the Stoney Point YMCA.
Police made an arrest in the case earlier this week.
It's taken about five long months for Sportability of Iowa members to finally get closure.
While they waited for police to make an arrest, they were also doing some work of their own, finding ways to get back the tools they use to empower people with disabilities.
There's no doubt, Sportabilty of Iowa has come a long way.
About five months ago, the future looked grim after police say Rick Allen Smith stole a trailer containing their sports wheel chairs.
"His excuse was, well by buddy called me up. He said that they found a trailer and they wanted to steal it and needed my help in breaking the locks, said Jayden Barrett, Sportability of Iowa Program Director.
For Jayden and his friends, it was basically six years of fundraising gone in one night. But then they decided to fight back.
They coined a new slogan, adapt and overcome, and held numerous events to replace more than 40,000 dollars worth of wheel chairs. Their efforts paid off.
"That's the amazing part, that's really what I want people to know. It was six years of work literally shrunken down to six months just because of people's generosity, Jayden said.
"We're very pleased with the community support, were glad that they've gotten everything back and they're back up and running and able to practice again and it's a great group, said Sherly Payton, an employee of the Stoney Point YMCA.
Sherly Payton who works at the Stoney Point YMCA where the wheelchairs were stolen says the people of the y had hoped for a positive outcome.
"So horrible that it happened but we're glad that it's turned around and they've overcome, she said.
As for the stolen wheelchairs, police say a few were found intact but the majority of them were chopped up and completely destroyed.
"They found six of them in his house. One of them wasn't cut up but the rest of them were, Jayden said.
Still, Jayden says the arrest has brought him some closure.
He says he has one simple thing to say to the man who started it all.
"I'd just like to tell him thank you."
Sportablity of Iowa is holding a thank you event on June 14th.
They are inviting everyone who donated to come out and celebrate with them as they showcase their new equipment.
Their sports camp also begins in June, from the 18th to the 21st at UNI.