Jun 7, 2024 - Technology

Pickleball thefts rock nation

Illustration of a pickleball paddle hitting an exploding ball

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Philadelphia area sports shops say they're the victims of a pickleball paddle racket — and it seems they're not alone.

  • East Coast stores stretching from Washington, D.C., to New York have seen a rash of paddle thefts, the Washington Post reports.

Driving the news: The owners of Tennis Junction (just outside Philly) and Everyone's Racquet (in Mount Laurel, New Jersey) tell Axios that three people stole more than $5,000 worth of paddles combined over the past month.

  • Store owners allege a man distracted employees while two women in loose-fitting dresses and scarves took dozens of paddles — worth more than $250 each — by hiding them under their clothes.
  • The owners reported the thefts to police, but were told little could be done without surveillance footage.

Zoom out: Police are investigating the possibility that a group using similar tactics stole paddles at D.C.-area stores, the Post reports.

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