The Dink Pickleball

The Dink Pickleball Logo
Pickleball Lives Here
News and Stories

Is There a Pickleball Theft Ring Actually Robbing Stores of Paddles?

by Jason Flamm on

No, you're not having déjà vu.

We have another story of thousands of dollars of pickleball paddles being lifted by thieves. This time, it happened in April to a store in Rockville, Maryland.

Authorities are speculating that it could all be part of a bigger theft ring that ran a similar scam earlier this year in Colorado and Las Vegas, as their descriptions and methods are similar.

Video shows thieves pocketing paddles

Each video begins the same way; a man enters the store and distracts the manager on duty while two or three women come in behind him and head over to the pickleball section.

The women can be seen placing handfuls of paddles under their clothing and then walking out of the store.

Store owners are in disbelief

While thievery is awful and shouldn't happen at any store, what makes these even worse is that the target of this ring seems to be small, family-owned stores.

One owner, Marco Impeduglia of Tennis Topia, said, "Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought I'd have to lock up pickleball paddles."

But that is the harsh reality store owners face as this theft ring targets pickleball shops nationwide.

Colorado, Las Vegas, Maryland ... where are they going next?

More than $30,000 worth of pickleball paddles were stolen from three stores in Denver, another $5,000 from a store in Las Vegas, and now 25-30 paddles totaling $4,000 were reportedly stolen from a store in Maryland.

Pickleball thieves swipe $20,000 worth of paddles
Call the cops. Call the FBI. Call the National Guard. There is a new crime spree targeting pickleball shops in Colorado. Family-owned, Game Set Match is a tennis and pickleball retailer with three locations in the Denver area. According to a recent news story, all three locations have been hit

"I'm just trying to figure out their end game of selling paddles that 'fell off the back of the truck.' I don't get it," says Tyler Bunch, the owner of Alpine Ski Shop in Fairfax city.

Owners are taking action

Besides locking up pickleball gear – which is now happening even at bigger sporting goods stores like Dick's, store owners are beginning to spread the word amongst each other through texts and sharing video footage of what and who to look out for.


Want to advertise with us?

If your company is interested in reaching an audience of active pickleballers, you may want to give us a shout.

Jason Flamm

Jason Flamm

Jason is a writer from St. Louis. He’s been a coach in several sports and is currently working on his pickleball coaching certification. He loves to teach and share his passions.

Read more