Crime Alert

There’s a new sign by the lift lobby in our building, warning of the risk of shoe theft. Rather than the terror of "Shoe Thieves Operating In This Area" there’s a disembodied hand reaching for a pair of shoes. A hand lacking an opposable thumb, so it may not get a good grip on the footwear, but I suppose that makes it scarier.

Underneath the picture are instructions admonishing you not to leave your shoes outside your house, but to keep them under lock and key inside. This makes me worry. Singapore is low-crime, not no-crime, and in this data obsessed country, they wouldn’t waste money putting up warning signs on something that wasn’t a significant hazard. So does that mean there’s a serious risk of my shoes getting stolen?

I can’t keep them indoors because there are too many of them. Also, La Serpiente Aquatica Negra will try to wear them all around the flat and then fall on her face when she attempts to run in shoes almost as long as she is tall.

But if I leave all my shoes outside and a gang of anti-cobblers come take them away from me, I’ll be pretty honked off. After all, just today my wife got my dress shoes reheeled, and I’ve got a fairly significant investment in running shoes out there.

But are there really shoe thieves running amok?

I walked through the lift lobby of one of the other towers in our complex the other night, and there was no shoe theft warning there, just a thing about not borrowing from loan sharks. And there are plenty of other people on our floor who also leave their shoes outside. Are we next? Are the shoe thieves working their way up the block? What to do, what to do?

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