A Pickpocket’s Tale

Over the last decade, Apollo Robbins has taken (and returned) a lot of stuff, including actress Jennifer Garner’s engagement ring and a wad of cash from Charles Barkley. That’s because he’s a prolific pickpocket, considered the best by many. He’s probably best known for an encounter with Jimmy Carter’s Secret Service detail in 2001. While Carter was at dinner, Robbins struck up a conversation with several of his Secret Service men. Within a few minutes, he had emptied the agents’ pockets of pretty much everything but their guns. Robbins even brandished a copy of Carter’s itinerary, and when an agent snatched it back. When the agent felt for his badge to show Robbins that he was a Secret Service agent, Robbins produced it and handed it back. Later, when the agents proceeded to head to the motorcade to leave, Robbins tossed them the keys to the limousine. A few years ago, Raymond Teller of illusionist duo Penn & Teller told Robbins he needed to ask himself two questions: Why do I steal, and why do I give it back? Today, Robbins is the founder and CEO of Whizmob, Inc., a consulting firm that assists law enforcement and corporate security with fraud, theft and scam trends.