Warning: this article has no answers, only questions. Namely, what’s up with all the cards about “3 white boys that break into cars” that are stapled to trees in the city’s East Town neighborhood? Who are these three white boys that break into cars? Do they indeed “live, work, or school” in the area, as the signs claim? And who’s stapling these cards to practically every tree in a two-to-three-block radius? And how are they getting them so high up in those trees?

Like we said, we have questions.

Some background: In late January, Milwaukee subreddit user Code7Alchemist posted a picture of a handmade sign that was taped to a tree near Cass and State streets. “Looking for a group of 3 young white guys that break into or steal cars,” read the initial handprinted signs.

Those signs soon turned into cards—dozens upon dozens of them, now mass produced on a printer and stapled high up in the trees. “The 3 white boys that break into cars live work or school in this area,” read the slightly modified and more specific cards.

We checked out the area for ourselves Friday morning, and sure enough, there were tons of these 3.5″ x 4.5″ cards still in the trees, mainly in the area surrounding The Plaza Hotel, 1007 N. Cass St. The front faces of the cards are copied/printed (nice card stock!), and the backs contain the handwritten message “See Something Call #911.”

Car thieves, of course, have plagued Milwaukee in recent years. The city reported 4,507 car thefts in 2020. That number exploded to 10,486 in 2021, though it dropped to the still-high 8,090 in 2022. The city is currently exploring legal action against the makers of two of the most stolen cars, Kia and Hyunda. That Tommy G YouTuber guy even talked to some of the so-called “Kia Boys”:

So yeah, we’re assuming these signs and cards are the work of a frustrated neighbor who may have had their car stolen? Seems logical. Stay alert, Milwaukee. If you see something, call 911. And if you’re using a ladder to staple cards to trees, consider a spotter.

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About The Author

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Co-Founder and Editor

Matt Wild weighs between 140 and 145 pounds. He lives on Milwaukee's east side.