Prosthetic legs returned; police stumped

And no, I did NOT make up this fabulous headine.

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Two prosthetic legs stolen from a 16-year-old California girl have mysteriously turned up in her mother’s van, the second time in three months that an artificial limb belonging to the teen has been taken and then returned, police said on Friday.

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Sgt. David Austin said investigators dusted the slightly damaged limbs for fingerprints and had interviewed a “laundry list” of people but were baffled by the thefts.

“We’re treating this as a crime,” Austin said. “We have a residential burglary to deal with. This is grand theft and burglary and if we find out who’s responsible we’ll take appropriate action.”

The two legs, which were taken from Melissa Huff’s bedroom in February, were found on Wednesday in the back of her mother’s van, Austin said.

“Mrs. Huff had the van at Arcadia High School (for about two hours) and when she drove away she heard some rattling and ultimately found the two legs that had just recently been stolen had been placed in the back of the van,” Austin said.

Melissa, who lost her right leg in 2003 when a car struck her outside the school, uses a $16,000 prosthetic limb to play softball and also has a $12,000 artificial leg for everyday use.

Thieves also broke into the Huff residence in November and took Melissa’s prosthetic leg. The teen’s prosthetist and a local real estate company donated about $16,000 for a new limb.

In January, the old one was discovered in her back yard, apparently thrown there by the thieves.

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