The Greatest Pickpocket in the World


There’s a reason everyone you know is tweeting links to the New Yorker story about a master pickpocket, and that reason is: it’s amazing.

You can’t help but love the feats of thievery it describes—nabbing the sunglasses off someone’s face without them noticing, impressing a skeptical Penn Jillette to the point of profanity.

Plus there are the questions it raises about a career most of us have never considered: what kind of person would be so good at stealing things, and what kind of person would give those things back?

Lauren O'Neal is an MFA student at San Francisco State University. Her writing has appeared in publications like Slate, The New Inquiry, and The Hairpin. You can follow her on Twitter at @laureneoneal. More from this author →