Boynton Beach police reunite man with $150,000 prosthetic arm

Chris Ruden's prosthetic arm stolen from pickup truck

BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. – A South Florida man has been reunited with his expensive prosthetic arm after it was stolen Sunday from his pickup truck in Boynton Beach.

Boynton Beach police spokeswoman Stephanie Slater said Chris Ruden's $150,000 prosthetic was stolen from the truck as it was parked outside his girlfriend's home on Stonehaven Drive.

Ruden told detectives the prosthetic must have been stolen Saturday night or early Sunday morning.

According to an incident report, it appears that Ruden left his doors unlocked as there was no forced entry.

Police said Ruden told them he doesn't drive with his left prosthetic arm and had placed it between the front seats of his truck.

Ruden, who is a motivational speaker who often speaks with disabled children, discovered his prosthetic was missing Sunday afternoon while he was working on a video. 

"I knew. I had that feeling that someone took it," Ruden told Local 10 News. 

The theft was especially hard on Ruden because he had fought for more than a year to get the expensive Touch Bionics prosthetic after living without one for 27 years.

"It took me a year to get and its custom-fitted to me. The hand detaches. It's definitely valuable to the outside world, but it's priceless to me," Ruden said.  

The prosthetic is made of black carbon fiber and has a rubber composite underneath. The removable hand is black alloy with a white rubber fingertip. 

Chris Ruden with Boynton Beach CSI Tom McKinlay.
Chris Ruden with Boynton Beach CSI Tom McKinlay.

According to Slater, Sgt. Rayner De Los Rios and Detectives Marco Villari and Jeff Gleicher spent about a half hour scouring the Stonehaven community and eventually found the prosthetic arm in bushes along a perimeter fence.

Crime scene investigator Tom McKinlay took the arm and processed it for investigative purposes before Ruden was able to pick it up from the police department.

"I was convinced that I wasn't going to get it back," Ruden said. "The fact that I got the call from the officer, I was so thankful."

While Ruden inspires people everyday as a motivational speaker, he also is an impressive bodybuilder, who can lift more than 600 pounds. He is a Type-1 diabetic, who helps others overcome their own struggles through his own experiences.

"I spent 17 years pretending that I didn't have the disability I have," Ruden said. "I was almost ashamed of how I was born. By getting this, it allowed me to be comfortable with who I am."

No arrests have been made in connection with the theft.

Anyone with information about the theft is asked to call Boynton Beach police at 561-732-8116 or Crime Stoppers of Palm Beach County at 800-458-TIPS.

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