Since many of the greasers' home lives are less than satisfactory, they spend a great deal of time on the streets. Most of the boys, particualarly Johnny and Ponyboy, learn to travel in groups so they will be less likely targets of the Socs. Consequently, the greasers
... are almost like hoods; we steal things and drive old souped-up cars and hold up gas stations and have a gang fight once in a while.
Steve Randle, for example, was an expert with cars.
He could lift a hubcap quicker and more quietly than anyone in the neighborhood.
Two-Bit Mathews "was famous for shoplifting and his black-handled switchblade." He liked fighting and smarting off to cops. Dallas Winston had learned about life on the streets in New York City, where he was first arrested at the age of ten. In Tulsa, "he did everything":
... lied, cheated, stole, rolled drunks, jumped small kids.
But the boys had dreams, too. Dally, the toughest of them all, liked to ride in rodeos, and he rode honestly, too. He dreams of escaping the city and living on a horse ranch. Soda knows that life on the streets is hard, and he wants to marry his girlfriend and settle down. Johnny yearns for a happy family life, or just somewhere where there is no fighting. Darry knows that his chances of playing college football is over, but he tackles the responsibility of man of the house in order to keep his brothers with him. As for Pony, everyone has high expectations for him. They want him to avoid "getting tough," since they know college is in his future.
That things are hard living when you get attacked so easily.