News & Politics

Rockville Police Are Searching for Culprits of a $4,500 Pickleball Paddle Heist

The theft occurred April 26th at Tennis Topia.

Photograph by theturquoisetable/Flickr.

Having conquered tennis courts, restaurants, and celebrities ranging from Tom Brady to Bill Gates, the pickleball boom has reached a new frontier: retail crime.

As first reported by local blogger Robert Dyer, Rockville City Police are investigating a report of a theft of pickleball paddles on April 26 at a store on the 800 block of Rockville Pike.

Washingtonian got in touch with Marco Impeduglia, the store’s owner, who said about $4,500 worth of paddles were lifted from his Tennis Topia. 

“We didn’t notice it because we were really busy, and then we noticed the next day we hadn’t sold that many paddles,” Impeduglia told Washingtonian. 

The suspects are described as two white females and a white male, all of “dark” or “darker” complexion, in an April 30 report from the Rockville City Police Department.

Impeduglia noted that the paddles—primarily of the Joola brand, which starts at $159.95 on Tennis Topia’s website—had recently gone obsolete, as Joola just rolled out a new line.

“It does stink because at the end of the day people would’ve bought them, but we’re fine,” Impeduglia said.

Impeduglia also said that Tennis Topia isn’t the only store nationwide to be pilfered of paddles in recent months. Last month, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported police were looking into the theft of thousands of dollars’ worth of paddles at the Vegas-based Game-Set-Match. 

In February, thieves reportedly nicked $30,000 worth of paddles from the shelves of three Game-Set-Match locations in Colorado, CBS News Colorado reported.

While there’s currently no evidence that the heists are related, Impeduglia, whose stores are not affiliated with Game-Set-Match, wondered if a connection exists. “It seems like they’re working their way cross-country,” he said.

Rockville City Police did not immediately return Washingtonian’s request for comment.

Arya Hodjat
Editorial Fellow