This Year's Pickleball Crime Spree Sadly Isn't Over

This Year's Pickleball Crime Spree Sadly Isn't Over

Where is Pickleball Batman when you need him? If he were real, we'd be flashing the Bat Signal with purpose right now.

A string of pickleball-related crimes affecting the Atlantic Coast have left local courts in disarray and racquet sport shop owners out of paddles.

In Manhattan's Upper West Side, police have confirmed reports of a recent vandal shredding nets at the pickleball courts in Riverside Park, costing the city about $2,500.

Clearly, the person or people responsible are trying to send a message. After shredding the permanent nets, they stuffed them into a nearby trash can.

Pickleball players in the area are nothing if not resilient, though. To counteract the pickle-terrorism, they've purchased temporary nets that they break down each night. 

“I know there has been controversy with pickleball, player Gil Eplan told ABC 17 News, "But there’s a highway. We aren’t next to anyone’s home. Just let us enjoy our park.”

Pickleball Thieves on the Loose

It's not just pickleball vandals on the loose - it's thieves, too.

The Washington Post reports that tennis and racquet sport shop owners in the D.C. region have started warning each other in a text chain about a pattern of pickleball and other racquet merchandise thefts

“Just a heads up. There is a group of 3 people going to racquet specialty stores stealing paddles. 2 women in flowing … clothing and 1 man says he is from France age 28-32 acting as decoy pretending to purchase shoes for his father. Women hide paddles under clothing and they all leave store."

Sadly, it seems these thieves aren't the only group to target pickleball paddles.

A store owner in Colorado says they lost $30,000 worth of paddles earlier this year. In Las Vegas, another store owner lost $4,000 in paddles in mid-April. In the latter case, a woman in flowing clothing is hiding the paddles as she exits the store.

When will this despicable behavior end?

Read Next: These U.S. Cities Have the Most Pickleball Courts Per Capita 

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