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"Net Bandit" Terrorizes Pickleball Courts in New York

by Jason Flamm on

Some people just want to watch the world burn.

A vandal is terrorizing pickleball courts in New York City. According to the story from Men's Journal, it's happened on at least three occasions recently.

They almost caught him on day one

Players in Manhattan have shown up to Riverside Park to find nets cut, poles thrown in the trash and pickleball equipment sitting in trash bags. No one knows who the vandal is, but on one occasion, players found a man who had taken down all five of the pickleball nets and several ball barriers.

When confronted, the man ran away.

"The nets are not easy or meant to be taken apart," Riverside Park pickleball courts organizer Elizabeth Shapiro told West Side Rag. "It must have taken him hours to take them apart and stack them all up."

Day two

The players put everything back together but found them all missing the next morning. After a search in the area, they discovered the missing equipment in a garbage bag.

Unfortunately, most of the equipment was no longer usable.

Day three

More equipment was reported missing the next day.

"The assumption on the first day was this guy was trying to steal the equipment and sell it, but the next day it became clear he’s just a vandal who is being really destructive and disruptive," Shapiro said.

The "Net Bandit" is still at large

A criminal report was filed, but no arrests have been made to find the person stealing and terrorizing pickleball nets.

Perhaps the biggest crime of all is now these dedicated pickleballers are having to use portable nets to play each day.

No word yet whether this has to do with pickleball noise or if the guy took a recent hit to his DUPR score.

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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.

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