Fascinating look at how pickpockets work

via Kottke

New Yorker has a profile about pickpocket and magician Apollo Robbins:

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 offered to do a trick instead. He instructed Jillette to place a ring that he was wearing on a piece of paper and trace its outline with a pen. By now, a small crowd had gathered. Jillette removed his ring, put it down on the paper, unclipped a pen from his shirt, and leaned forward, preparing to draw. After a moment, he froze and looked up. His face was pale.

“Fuck. You,” he said, and slumped into a chair.

Robbins held up a thin, cylindrical object: the cartridge from Jillette’s pen.

 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=706456651 Nigel Sherrie Fairweather-Hunt

    that took me 12 mins to watch a 5 1/2 min clip

  • Travis Poulson

    This is what the Treaty of Waitangi does to the New Zealand taxpayer.

    • http://www.whaleoil.co.nz/ Petal

      Travis! BACK TO YOUR BOX

      (hehehe)

      • Travis Poulson

        My box got claimed.

104%