Learn the Tricks of the Trade From the World's Greatest Pickpocket

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Learn the Tricks of the Trade From the World's Greatest Pickpocket

Learn the Tricks of the Trade From the World's Greatest Pickpocket
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Learn the Tricks of the Trade From the World's Greatest Pickpocket

by ABC News Videos 3:12 mins

Upon first glance, Apollo Robbins might not strike you as someone to be careful around -- but appearances can be deceiving. Robbins is a self-described “gentleman thief,” recognized amongst his peers as the world’s greatest pickpocket – that we know of. Unlike most pickpockets, Robbins doesn’t keep the items he steals – he always gives them back. Instead, he makes his living by demonstrating his uncanny skills of sleight-of-hand and visual trickery on both television – for National Geographic’s Brain Games series – and on stage in Las Vegas. Apollo grew up in Texas as the son of a Bible-thumping preacher father and two older half-brothers -- who taught him the basics of pickpocketing. A move to Las Vegas resulted in a recurring gig at Caesar’s Palace, which brought him more and more exposure – and more “victims.” One of his most famous tricks came during a chance encounter with former President Jimmy Carter and his Secret Service detail, in which Robbins robbed the Secret Service agents blind, causing more than a little consternation. Now Robbins travels the world showing off his skills for regular audiences, scientists, government officials – and television news personalities. He even hosted his own TED talk last month and was listed as a co-author on a paper about attention management and human cognition in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. But if you ever run into him on the street – make sure check your pockets afterwards.

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