Sleight of hand artist Apollo Robbins was so proficient that he once managed to pick the pockets of 2 secret service agents assigned to former president Jimmy Carter. He managed to steal the forner president’s itinerary, the keys to his motorcade and the badges of the agents.

A Pickpocket’s Tale

A few years ago, at a Las Vegas convention for magicians, Penn Jillette, of the act Penn and Teller, was introduced to a soft-spoken young man named Apollo Robbins, who has a reputation as a pickpocket of almost supernatural ability. Jillette, who ranks pickpockets, he says, “a few notches below hypnotists on the show-biz totem pole,” was holding court at a table of colleagues, and he asked Robbins for a demonstration, ready to be unimpressed. Robbins demurred, claiming that he felt uncomfortable working in front of other magicians. He pointed out that, since Jillette was wearing only shorts and a sports shirt, he wouldn’t have much to work with.

“Come on,” Jillette said. “Steal something from me.”

Again, Robbins begged off, but he … Continue Reading (34 minute read)

11 thoughts on “Sleight of hand artist Apollo Robbins was so proficient that he once managed to pick the pockets of 2 secret service agents assigned to former president Jimmy Carter. He managed to steal the forner president’s itinerary, the keys to his motorcade and the badges of the agents.”

  1. AdvancedAdvance

    This is why I’ll never dare pickpockets to steal something from me. Because I know after a few minutes of misdirection, they’ll say something like “Looking for this?” and they’ll be holding up my beating heart.

  2. sonofabutch

    [This video](https://youtu.be/Ia2b54srRZM) by a different pickpocket (Bob Arno) is fun. He goes to Italy and pretends to be a befuddled tourist to try to get pickpocketed, then he talks to them about their tricks and techniques.

  3. twiggez-vous

    Robbins by name, robbin’ by nature.

  4. cheeses_greist

    Robbins was featured on Brain Games, a show that originally aired on Nat Geo channel and seems to be on Disney + now. He’s fun to watch.

  5. CampBart

    Been to Italy, they have guys over there who can take a belt off you. It’s like a big game to them.

  6. ProfessorMex74

    For the doubters just watch some of his stuff online. He’s not an illusionist who sets it up like a traditional magic show where there’s a secret to the trick. He literally removes and replaced watches and all kinds of stuff. Pickpocketing wouldn’t make sense as a trick if you want to steal for real. He talks about his past in several interviews. I think people want to explain the illusion because they think no one can actually do it. Watch enough of him in action and you’ll see he’s not a magician but a legit pickpocket who makes his money showing off his skill rather than using it to steal. But no harm if you don’t believe he can actually do it. Explaining it away just keeps you from appreciating how fluidly he uses misdirection to do what he does.

  7. _never_more

    Then he was shot and had crack sprinkled on him. In retrospect not worth it.

  8. JustABoyAndHisBlob

    That’s a nice butt

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