TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - It what can only be described as a Christmas miracle, a Tucson man is in shock after being reunited with something irreplaceable.
All Marc Luety wanted for Christmas was his bike back.
It’s no ordinary bike, though.
Luety was training for El Tour de Tucson on Sept. 15, 2018, when he was struck by a truck on Broadway Boulevard.
After suffering a critical brain injury and collapsed lung, he repaired his body and his bike … only to have it stolen weeks before this year’s tour.
Luety rode in El Tour with a borrowed bike, but he never gave up hope.
“I had faith that the right thing would come about,” Luety said.
Just two days before Christmas, Luety’s wish came true.
“It did make me think ‘Wow, Santa is out there!’” he said with a laugh.
According to Sgt. David Allen with the Tucson Police Department, the street crimes team was working a “high crime area” at about 10 p.m. Sunday when officers noticed a rental truck acting suspiciously.
Officers pulled the driver over for multiple violations and saw eight high-end bikes in the bed of the truck. After investigating, they found out two of those bikes were reported stolen; one of them was Luety’s.
Allen called Luety at about midnight. At first, Luety said he thought someone was pulling a prank on him.
“I was really unsure. I started describing the bike as they asked me to,” Luety said. “They then verified my serial number and it was my bike.”
On Monday, the team of officers who recovered the stolen bike made a special trip to Luety’s home to deliver it in person.
"It’s a chance for us to just bless a citizen and just let him know how much we appreciate just being able to help out,” Allen said. “We don’t get to do that very often so it’s a special treat to be there and see that moment, to show someone that police really do care.”
Allen said all too often, stolen bikes end up in evidence rooms because the owners don’t know the serial number or report their bikes missing.
Luety said he poured countless hours into building and rebuilding his bike. In total, it cost him about $13,000.
None of that compares to its sentimental value.
“It kind of just felt like a symbol of my recovery," he said. “I’m so thankful to Tucson Police for recovering it.”
Luety’s bike wasn’t returned in perfect condition. Several parts were removed, but he said it’s still the best Christmas present he’s ever received.
“At its core; which is the frame, it is back,” Luety said. “I rebuilt it one time -- I built it in the first place -- and I will rebuild it again.”
You can bet he will also ride it in the 2020 Tour.