Don't Rob the Copp!
David Copperfield has added a new trick to his repertoire: Faking out robbers.
Despite being possessed of a "large amount of cash," the illusionist showed nothing but empty pockets to armed gunmen who targeted him and two female companions Sunday night in West Palm Beach, Florida, police said.
In the Palm Beach Post, Copperfield called his sleight of hand bit "reverse pickpocketing."
Nifty or no, authorities recommend that viewers shouldn't try Copperfield's stunt at home. "Usually, the protocol is to give 'em what you got, and not play games with them," West Palm Beach Police spokesman Ted White said Wednesday.
Copperfield's companions, meanwhile, did as told. The women, identified in the Post as the entertainer's assistants, handed over cash (both U.S. and Euro dollars), keys, plane tickets, a cell phone and a passport, the police report said. The 911 emergency call placed by Cathy Daly, one of the assistants, indicated the purloined passport belonged to Copperfield.
No one was injured in the incident, which occurred about 11:30 p.m. Sunday near Kravis Center, where Copperfield had played six shows over the weekend.
Copperfield and the women were walking when four young men, two of them wielding guns, jumped out of a 2000 Chevrolet Malibu, and confronted the group, the police report said.
"I had a gun pointed at my head from six inches away," Copperfield said in the Post.
An 18-year-old man and three unidentified, teen-aged boys were arrested for the shakedown within minutes. All were booked on suspicion of armed robbery. It was believed the four remained in custody Wednesday.
Copperfield, 49, and referred to exclusively in the police report as David Kotkin, his given name, has not missed a tour date since the unscripted drama. He is scheduled to take the stage Wednesday night in Orlando, Florida.
Arguably best known for making the State of Liberty disappear, at least for the purposes of a TV special, Copperfield is also noted for making fiancee Claudia Schiffer disappear. (The magician and the model ended their lengthy engagement in 1999.)