Pickpocketing is a triumph of craft: a distracting touch with one hand, while the other hand gets to work, and the next thing you know ... where's my wallet? Apollo Robbins is a modern master of picking pockets, possessor of a subtle understanding of human attention, a taste for classic crime, and something he calls "grift sense" -- which, as he told the New Yorker , is “stepping outside yourself and seeing through the other person’s eyes, thinking through the other person’s mind, but it’s happening on a subconscious level.”
Robbins 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 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.