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The Best Pickpocket in the World

Photo: Martin Schoeller

The first time magician Penn Jillette of Penn and Teller met Apollo Robbins, he was unimpressed. After all, pickpocket acts are a dime-a-dozen and Jillette already knew all their tricks.

“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.

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

And so began the fascinating life story of Apollo Robbins, one of the world's best pickpockets, as told by Adam Green in this article over at The New Yorker: Link - and then head on over to YouTube to see him in action.

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