ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) — A customized prosthetic leg worth $15,000 that was stolen from a man who was hit by a car and critically injured in St. Petersburg Monday night has been returned to the man’s family, police say.
St. Pete police say 49-year-old Christopher Allen Harris was walking along 49th Street and crossing 5th Avenue North in the crosswalk around 10 p.m. when he was hit by an Infinity G35. Harris suffered life-threatening injuries and was taken to Bayfront Health in critical condition.
Police say the impact of the crash knocked Harris’ prosthetic leg off. The leg then hit another vehicle that was headed east on 5th Avenue.
According to police, the prosthetic leg was stolen before officers arrived at the scene. The leg is customized with Marvel artwork and worth $15,000.
“The only thing that I can think is [the person who took it] thought it was funny, [was a big fan of] the Avengers, or thought it was worth money,” Carrie Harris said. “But it’s priceless to my daughter and to him.”
Carrie Harris shares a daughter with Christopher and, while they’ve split up, she wanted to see his prosthetic returned to its rightful owner.
“It’s a person’s leg, it’s a body part, it’s part of who he was,” she said.
Harris’ family and St. Pete police put out a call for help Tuesday morning, seeking the return of the leg. Police sent out an update several hours later saying the leg had been located.
“After the widespread social media/media coverage of the missing prosthetic leg, someone called in and told us where to find it,” Yolanda Fernandez with the St. Pete Police Department said.
Fernandez says officers found the leg behind a laundromat “hidden among some discarded items.” The leg was returned to Carrie Harris shortly after it was located.
“We are truly thankful to Officer Weiskoph who worked through the night to find us and through the day to find his prosthetic,” she said. “Words can’t express how thankful we are to everyone who helped.”
Harris’ family is relieved the leg has been returned, though he still has a tough fight ahead.
“He has major head trauma, spinal damage, broken femur, broken hips, everything,” said Carrie Harris. “He was caring, smart, he didn’t deserve for this to happen.”
Officers did not say whether they know who took the leg but will not be searching for the person. They said they’re just happy the family has the leg back.
Meanwhile, the investigation into the crash is ongoing. Detectives do not believe alcohol or drugs played a role. A spokesperson for the police department says the drivers of both cars involved stopped and are cooperating with the investigation.