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It’s a common misconception that pickpocketing is an art reserved for the criminally inclined. The reality is that anyone can learn the basics of this sleight-of-hand technique with a bit of practice. In fact, learning how to pickpocket can be a fun and useful skill to have in your back pocket (pun intended).

If you are a mix and mingle or stage entertainer, especially if you are a magician, then expanding your routine to include pickpocketing can be a great way to add an element of fun and excitement to your show.

Who am I?

professional magician

My name is Nick Rushton, and I’ve been a close-up magician for over 20 years. For many of those years, I was constantly looking for the next big thing to add to my shows – the show stopper that would get the best reactions! Despite all of the money spent at magic stores and in dealers’ halls at conventions, nothing has come close to the impact that learning how to pickpocket has had on my routine – and on my income! Not because I keep what I steal of course – but because it’s another level of impossible beyond close-up magic that I can offer to the clients who book me for their events.

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At a young age, I performed a manipulation dove act and had the chance to work on the same bill as the wonderful pickpocket and magician Mark Raffles. It was an incredible experience, watching Mark’s outstanding pickpocket routine live, and I thought that one day I would love to perform this type of magic.

Here is a video clip of Mark in action to help inspire you:

Soon after, I started doing some research and discovered that there were very limited resources on the art of theatrical pickpocketing for entertainment. I bought all the relevant books available at the time, however, I had a difficult time understanding how the techniques would play out in real-time and be covered by the misdirection and timing required.

Fast forward to the present – Booking a skilled pickpocket

An important client of mine was looking for something extra and different to add to the usual table magic / close-up magic entertainment he booked through me each year, so I reached out to a well-known magician, creator and magic tutor, James Brown. As one of the UK’s top pickpockets, I thought he’d be a perfect fit, so I wanted to see if he was available to perform alongside me at the event. He was, and he did, and this was the first of a number of gigs we’ve performed at together.

He mentioned that he, like me, had found there were very limited resources around the subject of pick pocketing, but more importantly, and this is the big one – there was no material explaining how to create the misdirection required and have the confidence to perform it. He had solved this by putting together a brilliant easy-to-follow online course which allows you to build your skills in your own timescale.

James Brown Pickpocket

One of the key points which sparked my interest in learning how to pickpocket was the difference in the fee that James was able to command by performing these extra skills (he was charging about double my usual close-up magic fee at the time!).

Learn how to pickpocket – How do you pick pockets for beginners?

** Please Note: Pickpocket Course = Legacy Collection **

The Pickpocket Course above has now been bundled with the “Legacy Collection” – a bunch of INCREDIBLE routines and courses providing even more value!

Enrol / Order Online Below:


Single Payment: https://www.powa.academy/a/2147524600/NCosh5Qq

Multipayment: https://www.powa.academy/a/2147524601/NCosh5Qq

How Can I Pickpocket Someone?

The POWA Academy Secrets of Pickpocketing is an online pickpocket course that was created by James Brown, one of the UK’s top pickpockets. The course is designed to teach you the basics of theatrical pickpocketing, and includes a variety of tutorials and lessons on how to create the misdirection and confidence needed to perform this type of magic.

One of the great things about the POWA Academy is that it allows you to learn at your own pace, and there are a range of different modules that you can choose from depending on your skill level. The course is also updated regularly, so you can be sure that you are learning the latest techniques and tips.

If you are interested in learning how to pickpocket, then the POWA Academy is definitely the course for you. With over 20 years of experience, James Brown knows exactly what it takes to be a successful pickpocket, and he is more than happy to share his knowledge with you.

Things to Steal – Wallets, Cash and credit cards, phones and more

From James’ course, I’ve learned how to steal items from jacket pockets, trouser pockets, and front pockets, along with the skills to remove watches, cuff links and even ties! Performing this for guests at weddings and corporate events gets the most incredible reactions and enhances any close-up magic routine.

Items and valuables to take when picking pockets:

  • Wallets
  • Cash and credit cards
  • Phones
  • Glasses and sunglasses
  • Cufflinks
  • Ties
  • Watches – leather strap watch and metal band type
  • Keys
  • Purse / bag
  • Even belts and braces (although I’ve never tried this personally!)

As you can see, there are a wide range of possibilities when it comes to picking pockets, and the POWA Academy covers everything you need to know in order to be a successful

What are the steps to pickpocketing?

The steps are as follows:

1) Choose your “victim” – always target someone who looks like they will have fun with you and will become part of the entertainment. Read body language to look for a good target – somebody relaxed who would be up for a laugh.

2) Position yourself close to your victim – this is easy with James’ techniques and the simple magic routines you probably already do.

3) Gently remove the item from their person – using a smooth and fluid motion. This should be timed well rather than done quickly or rushed. Best to start with a phone or wallet, as these are smooth and easy to remove.

4) Place the item into your pocket to reveal later on in a fun and entertaining way!

How To Steal A Watch

watch steal steps 1

Good magic routines to cover pick pocket moves.

Pretty much any routine that gets you close enough to a person will work well to distract guests in order to take their belongings. James teaches basic coin moves to cover the steals in his course. If you know more involved or advanced coin routines, these will work very well. Other routines include crazy mans handcuffs (elastic bands), magic with rings, money and phones and of course, card magic.

How to pickpocket a phone

This is explained in detail on James’ course.

  1. Create misdirection
  2. Using a scissor grip, take hold of the phone.
  3. Remove carefully while maintaining misdirection and holding attention elsewhere.

One of the best reactions from guests at a wedding or event is when a stolen phone is handed back!

What happens if you get caught?

This is the most frequently asked question and was actually the fear that held me back for so many years. James covers this and so much more in this course. His unique approach empowers you to move forward without the fear of failure dragging you back.

Is pickpocketing easy?

Learning how to pickpocket is not as difficult as you may think, and with the right instruction, you can easily become a pro. James Brown is one of the UK’s top pickpockets and his unique and bold approach is clearly taught in his online course. It allows you to learn at your own pace and master the art of theatrical pickpocketing. So if you’re interested in learning how to take things from people without them knowing, and creating an unforgettable moment for people – then the POWA Academy is definitely the course for you!

Don’t get caught out – Your own wallet stolen!

Always be aware that by being a pickpocket, you are leaving yourself open to guests having a go at pickpocketing from you! Obviously, it’s all part of the fun, but it’s something to be mindful of and to be prepared for.

Real Pickpockets – How pickpockets work in a pickpocket team

Real pickpockets work in streets and in busy crowds, such as at a train station or large-scale events. They usually work as a pickpocket team or in gangs of at least two guys or girls. Most pickpockets use completely different techniques and distraction methods to an entertainer. Obviously, I do not condone stealing valuables for real, and the information on this page will not benefit you as it’s for entertainment only.

The World’s Best Pickpockets

There are a number of well-known pickpockets all over the world, each with their own unique performance style. Here are a few to mention for your future research and development:

  • James Brown (UK)
  • Mark Raffles (UK)
  • Bob Arno (USA)
  • Apollo Robbins (USA)

Related notes:

How to protect yourself from a real pick pocket

Avoid pickpockets by avoiding crowded places. If you find yourself in a crowded place, be vigilant and keep a close eye on your belongings. Hold your bag close to your body, and if you have a backpack, wear it in front of you. Be especially careful in busy areas such as tourist attractions, festivals, and public transport hubs. Keep your valuables in a money belt or pickpocket-proof clothing or, even better in a hotel safe.

Pickpockets work in groups, so if you see someone suspicious hanging around, be on your guard. If you think you’re being followed by potential thieves, walk into a busy shop or café. If someone bumps into you or tries to distract you, it could be a pickpocket trying to steal your possessions.

Is Pickpocketing A Crime?

100% Yes! Unless it’s for entertainment purposes. If you do fall victim and get pickpocketed, report it to the police as soon as possible. Try to get a description of the pick pockets and, if possible, their accomplices. And finally, remember to cancel any credit cards that have been stolen.

How To Pick Pockets Summary

If you want to become a master pickpocket entertainer and start charging your clients a premium for your services, then the POWA Academy is the course for you. I have had fantastic success and the magicians I have recommended this path to have also seen their businesses grow.

If you would like any pickpocket tips or advice from me personally or have any questions about the course, feel free to contact me, and I’ll be very happy to help.

Get 10% Discount Today!

how to pickpocket

For a limited time only, please use the Discount Code “NICK” when checking out to get a 10% discount off the price of the course!

Read More about The POWA Academy Secrets Of Pickpocketing

** Please Note: Pickpocket Course = Legacy Collection **

The Pickpocket Course above has now been bundled with the “Legacy Collection” – a bunch of INCREDIBLE routines and courses providing even more value!

Enrol / Order Online Below:


Single Payment: https://www.powa.academy/a/2147524600/NCosh5Qq

Multipayment: https://www.powa.academy/a/2147524601/NCosh5Qq


I fully recommend the POWA academy course, having learned from the course myself (see photos) and found great value in the material being taught. As well as real-time first-hand experience, I know that many of my colleagues, some of the UK’s top professionals have also benefitted from the techniques taught. The links provided in this article are affiliate links. If you find value in my article/recommendation and decide to sign up, this will provide me with a small commission, so thank you for your support!