Thieves take a 16-year-old's leg for the second time

By People Staff
February 15, 2006 12:00 PM

A teenage girl’s prosthetic leg has been stolen from her home in Temple City, Calif. – the second time it has been swiped in several months.

On Tuesday a burglar took two cosmetic legs belonging to 16-year-old Melissa Huff: a $12,000 prosthetic for everyday use and a $16,000 “sports leg” that had been donated after her first one was stolen, the Associated Press reports.

“It’s insane. Who hates her that bad?” says the teen’s mother, Lisa Huff. “I went back to the girls’ room and the room was trashed. Mostly Melissa’s stuff.”

Melissa’s right leg was amputated two years ago after being hit by a car. The teen, now a high school sophomore, resumed playing competitive softball after the accident, and had been using the $16,000 leg to keep playing, her mother says.

“Now, she has nothing to walk with,” says her father, David Huff.

In the first theft, which occurred on Nov. 1, the thief cut a hole in a window screen and also stole video games and other items, as well as the cosmetic leg, according to authorities. After the incident Melissa’s doctor and two real estate finance companies donated money for a new, shock-absorbent “sports leg” with a flexible foot.

Melissa’s brother, Derek, found the first stolen leg in the backyard of the family home two months later, the local NBC affiliate reports.

During the second robbery, the thief (or thieves) pried open a screen window, said sheriff’s Sgt. Russell Sprague.

Authorities have no leads in the crimes.