“My neighborhood seems to love throwing sneakers up the electric lines. Couple times they’ve been taken down, but a new pair always shows up. It’s the dumbest thing a human can do, and it degrades our neighborhood so quickly.”

- Brooks, Portland, Maine


  • murr1066

    The sneakers on the power lines does look a bit trashy. But, the sneakers on the power line do serve a purpose. They are excellent indicators that nefarious activity is nearby.

    Who put the shoes there and why? The list of explanations include:

    First, and foremost, It’s the work of gangs marking the boundaries of their territory.

    Second, bullies take them off defenseless kids, then sling them up out of reach as the ultimate taunt.

    Gang members create an informal memorial at the spot where a friend lost his life.

    Crack dealers festoon wires to advertise their presence in the neighborhood.

    Overly puffed-up boys who have just lost their virginity or otherwise passed a sexual milestone look to signal the event to others.

    In an Associated Press story out of Tucson dated last week, they hoisted up the conventional wisdom that dangling sneakers are an emblem of gang activity and fully supported it with a quote from the police: “This is another kind of urban decay,” a spokesman said. Like law enforcement officials everywhere else, Tucson police have found a direct correlation between dangling sneakers and crime, drug activity, and prostitution.

    Tucson Electric Power officials added that in any given week, 5 to 10 pairs of sneakers are removed from power lines all over the city of Tucson: “The highest periods of activity seem to be after school lets out for the summer break,” as well as holidays.

  • cptnobv

    crack sold here

  • justsay

    time to move

  • Justme

    yes I was just going to say that I heard years ago that a shoe on a wire indicates that drugs are sold in the area and there is a drug dealer nearby

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