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Video shows theft of over $4K worth of pickleball equipment from Las Vegas store

Updated April 17, 2024 - 6:22 pm

Surveillance cameras captured a pair of women stealing more than $4,000 worth of pickleball paddles from a southwest valley sports shop late last week by hiding them in their clothing, according to the business.

In total, the purported thieves made out with 16 paddles that each retail for $275, according to representatives with Game-Set-Match and a Metropolitan Police Department report they filed Tuesday.

“It impacts for sure; without a doubt,” store manager Conrad Corona said about the monetary loss for the small, family-owned business.

Corona said in an interview that a man, followed by two women and a young child, walked into the store, located near South Fort Apache Road and Tropicana Avenue, on midday Friday.

In an effort to distract Corona, he said, the man began asking questions about tennis equipment. Meanwhile, the women, who wore scarves and long dresses, made their way to a corner of the store where the paddles were on display.

Video shared with the Las Vegas Review-Journal showed what happened next.

Cameras caught the women slipping the merchandise under their clothing.

Corona said the trio and the child left the store and drove away together.

The theft, which Corona described as “well-coordinated and well-planned,” lasted a little over five minutes, according to the police report.

Pickleball, a fusion of tennis and pingpong, is a fast-growing sport enjoyed by a growing fan base made up of people of all ages.

Game-Set-Match Inc. has also operated brick-and-mortar stores in Colorado since 1989. Its three stores in that state were hit by thieves recently, with losses amounting to $30,000, according to the company’s marketing director, Jessica Ouwerkerk.

Video from one of the thefts shows a woman stuffing merchandise into a long skirt.

The Las Vegas location opened in 2022, with another opening in the valley within a year, Ouwerkerk said.

“We put a ton of effort and priority into supporting the local tennis and pickleball communities,” Ouwerkerk lamented about Friday’s theft. “$4,000 might not sound like a lot, but it is for a small, family-owned business.”

Contact Ricardo Torres-Cortez at rtorres@reviewjournal.com.

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