Bionic prosthetic arm stolen from car in Pilsen

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ByEric Horng via WLS logo
Wednesday, October 29, 2014
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Sammy Luther, 16, of North Aurora says his bionic arm was stolen from his family's car while he was in Chicago.

NORTH AURORA, Ill. (WLS) -- Sammy Luther, 16, of North Aurora says his bionic prosthetic arm was stolen from his family's car while he was in Chicago and a reward is being offered for its return.

The high school junior was born without his left forearm and hand, and he relies on the bionic prosthetic. He and his family believe it may have been stolen from the family's car in the city's Pilsen neighborhood.

The top-of-the-line prosthetic is worth nearly $100,000, but its value to Luther can't be measured in money.

"Without it, it's hard to carry things with just one hand," says Luther. "I guess it makes me feel whole. I don't mean to sound sad, but it makes me feel like I have two hands."

The prosthetic arm has been missing for a week and a half. Luther, who does modeling work, says that on Oct. 18, he was in Chicago's Pilsen neighborhood for a photoshoot, after which he went to a modeling class.

The battery in the prosthetic had died, so he left it in the car. He and his mother believe they may have left the car unlocked. Subsequently, they discovered the arm was missing.

"We're just confused," says Derrick Luther, Sammy's father. "Why would anybody take that? It looks cool, I guess, and that's probably why they'd take it. It's just more of a disappointment because of the value."

"I didn't think someone would really come in and steal it," says Sammy. "I wasn't thinking anyone would be doing that. But it happened, and I was confused."

Sammy has used a number of prosthetics in the past, but this one, made of carbon fiber and titanium, is unparalleled. Chicago police are investigating, but Sammy's father says that if the arm were to be returned he likely wouldn't press charges.

"I just want the arm back," he says. "It's my son's. It cost a lot of money. It helps him on a day-to-day basis."

The stolen prosthetic was paid for mostly by insurance, but it's unclear if a replacement would be covered. The family now offering a reward for the arm, the amount unspecified.