3 suspected of stealing thousands of dollars worth of pickleball paddles from Rockville shop

ROCKVILLE, Md. (DC News Now) — Tennis Topia is the latest of two tennis stores in the DMV to experience a robbery, causing owners to fear thieves are targeting their stores.

The Rockville City Police Department (RCPD) is investigating a recent burglary that happened at Tennis Topia, a tennis and pickleball shop in the 800 block of Rockville Pike. According to the owners and management, the shop lost nearly $4,500 worth of pickleball paddles on April 26.

“Three individuals stopped came into our store and stole about 30 pickleball paddles,” said Sara Healy, manager of Tennis Topia.

RCPD said the theft happened just before 2:30 p.m. Healy said it caught her and her staff off guard.

Howard University nursing ceremony cut short when venue reaches capacity

“One of the individuals – a guy with them – distracted one of our sales associates, asking him questions of some our product,” she explained. “So they weren’t focused when two women were stuffing paddles under clothing.”

Footage shared by the owner of Tennis Topia with DC News Now shows the group of burglars distracting staff while the suspects stuff their clothing with paddles.

Tennis Topia is not the only tennis shop in the Washington metropolitan area to be targeted.

According to a Facebook post, Fairfax County’s Alpine Ski Shop was robbed in late April of two pickleball paddles. Like the robbery at Tennis Topia, the shop said one man and two girls were captured on surveillance footage stealing the paddles.

“Looks like this random group of 3 is continuing down south with the 2 girls steeling paddles while the guy plays the distraction,” the post read in part.

It is unclear if the robberies are related, but staff at Tennis Topia believe they may be connected.

“It was clear that these people have done it before. It was not a first-time thing at all,” Healy said. “It was quick, quick… minimal.”

For the latest news, weather, sports, and streaming video, head to DC News Now | Washington, DC.