Hailed as the greatest pickpocket in the world, Apollo Robbins is a modern master of picking pockets, possessor of a subtle understanding of human attention, and has a taste for classic crime. He utilises pick-pocketing and sleight-of-hand to demonstrate proximity manipulation, diversion techniques and attention control.
Apollo first made national news as the man who pick-pocketed the Secret Service while entertaining the former President. He studies the quirks of human behaviour as he steals your watch; Apollo’s trademark is his unique ability to tell his “target” that he is about to steal from them, before he does it, right under their nose. In a hilarious demonstration, Apollo samples the buffet of the TEDGlobal 2013 audience, showing how the flaws in our perception make it possible to swipe a wallet and leave it on its owner’s shoulder while they remain clueless.
Apollo makes a living as an entertainer, speaker and television personality, and he also is the founder of Whizmob Inc., a collective of misdirection experts — including reformed criminals — that schools military and law enforcement leaders in fraud and scam tactics. Robbins has also collaborated with academics in his quest to understand how awareness and attention can be manipulated. He’s a co-author of a 2011 paper that explores something he noticed in his countless hours of practice: people’s eyes are more easily misdirected to follow a curve than a straight line.
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