AKRON, Ohio – After a local teenager spent his Christmas money buying an expensive pair of athletic shoes, he decided he would be willing to trade them for another pair of high-end sneakers that held sentimental value.
The teenager, who has asked not to be identified, bought the $234 pair of LeBron Christmas Edition Shoes at a local retail store.
His mother said the boy’s uncle, to whom he was close, died of a heart condition while waiting in line to buy a pair of Jordan shoes in 2013.
The local teenager saw a posting with the same pair of Jordan sneakers on Instagram and made arrangements to trade shoes with the author of the posting.
“I didn’t know he was going to trade them. But trading with teenagers, that’s something that they do. They trade shoes,” said his mother who also asked not to be identified.
The meeting took place near Schneider Park in Akron, out in the open in a residential community.
“The guy ended up not having the shoes, brought two other people with him. One of those people hit him, he fell in the snow, they took the shoes, then they left. We tried to look up the Instagram account again and it was deleted,” the mother said.
On the streets, some of the most valuable shoes can sell for twice their already high sticker price.
Police said as with trading anything of value, teenagers need to be careful about what they are doing and who they agree to meet.
“You never know what’s going to happen. You never know who’s on the other end of that computer so we discourage people from meeting strangers at different locations, either to trade property or to buy property,” Akron Police Lt. Rick Edwards said.
Though beaten over the head for his shoes, the local teenager is OK. His mother wants other parents to be aware if their children are trading shoes to be careful.
“Something as innocent as ‘Let’s trade these shoes’ turned into him getting hit in the head and his shoes getting stolen,” his mom said. “It’s not worth it. $200 shoes versus getting hit or hurt or worse.”