College pitcher’s stolen prosthetic arm found at South Dakota recycling center

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — A college pitcher in South Dakota who had his prosthetic lower arm stolen more than a week ago from his vehicle got it back Tuesday morning thanks to a pair of vigilant recycling center employees.

According to the Argus Leader, Parker Hanson awoke May 3 and discovered his backpack had been stolen from his vehicle, leaving him without his prosthetic arm and attachments.

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Although police recovered a backpack the following day near Hanson’s home that contained some of the prosthetic’s attachments, the limb was nowhere in sight.

Hanson, a right-handed reliever for the Augustana University baseball team, was born without a left hand, and took to social media to vent his frustration after his prosthetic was stolen, The Washington Post reported.

“To the person in Sioux Falls last night who felt the need to steal other people’s property, I hope those prosthetic arms and attachments bring you more use than they brought me,” Hanson wrote. “I hope you can use them to better yourself more than I did for myself. I hope you use them to motivate others the way I strove to. I used them every single day, so I hope you can too. So if anyone sees a tan Nike backpack full of prosthetics, please let me know.”

One week later, Nate Riddle and Tim Kachel found Hanson’s arm while working a shift picking out non-recyclable items from the line at Millennium Recycling Inc. in Sioux Falls, the Post reported.

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In fact, Kachel told the Argus Leader that he stopped Riddle from tossing the prosthetic when he first encountered it Monday evening because he had heard about Hanson’s plight in local news.

“I recognized it instantly,” Kachel told the newspaper, adding, “I was jumping up and down screaming ‘Stop!’”

Riddle told the Argus Leader that he was skeptical of Kachel’s claim about the prosthetic limb, until their line was paused the following morning, and everyone was called into the manager’s office to meet Hanson personally.

A hospital spokesperson for Shriners Children’s Twin Cities in Minneapolis confirmed that Hanson will be fitted for a new prosthetic at no charge once he has time to travel to Minnesota after baseball season, the Post reported.

Read more here and here.

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