Apollo Robbins (born May 23, 1974) is an American sleight-of-hand artist, security consultant, self-described gentleman thief, and deception specialist. Forbes has called him “an artful manipulator of awareness.”
In a 2013 profile in The New Yorker, writer Adam Green said, “Robbins, who lives in Las Vegas, is a peculiar variety-arts hybrid, known in the trade as a theatrical pickpocket. Among his peers, he is widely considered the best in the world at what he does, which is taking things from people’s jackets, pants, purses, wrists, fingers, and necks, then returning them in amusing and mind-boggling ways.”
Robbins was born in Plainview, Texas. A soft-spoken man, Robbins has said, in various interviews, that he learned his skills from two brothers, that his father was blind, and that, as a child, he had braces on his legs.
Robbins gained notoriety after pickpocketing Secret Service agents accompanying former President Jimmy Carter. He successfully stole, among other items, former President Carter’s itinerary and the keys to his motorcade. The publicity led several law-enforcement groups to contact him about his techniques. Robbins explained to an interviewer, “I pick-pocketed one of Jimmy Carter’s secret service agents. After that, I got approached [to consult] police departments and security individuals. I got to visit prisons and I started learning the thinking and skill set of real thieves.”
Robbins is married to Vietnamese-American magician and mentalist Ava Do. They have one child. In 2012 they founded Ludus Development, a training and consulting collective that creates immersive training methodologies with a focus on experiential learning.