Magician David Copperfield and two female assistants were robbed at gunpoint Sunday night after a performance in West Palm Beach, Fla.
At about 11:15 p.m., Copperfield, 49, and staffers Cathy Daly and Mia Volmut were walking back to their tour bus after dinner when a black car pulled up beside them and two people got out, according to a statement issued by Copperfield’s rep.
“At first we thought they were just more people wanting autographs,” the statement continues. “They told us to give them our money and our stuff. At that point we realized that there were guns in our face.”
Daly and Volmut gave the robbers a purse containing 200 euros, $100, a passport, plane tickets and a cell phone, plus $400 in pocket money, according to a police report. But Copperfield, his statement says, turned his pockets inside out to show that they were empty – a sleight of hand by the master illusionist, who later showed police that his pockets were filled with cell phones, a wallet and a passport.
“Call it reverse pickpocketing,” Copperfield later told the Palm Beach Post.
As the assailants drove away, Copperfield and Daly took down their car’s license plate numbers and called the police. Officers arrived on the scene and quickly captured the suspects, whom Copperfield and his staff later positively identified.
Police said four teenagers were arrested, charged with armed robbery and held without bond, the Associated Press reports. The purse and property were recovered.
“I look forward to coming back to Palm Beach in the future, knowing that crime can happen anywhere, but from what I witnessed from the officers that night, we were lucky to be in Palm Beach when it did happen,” Copperfield says in the statement.
He is currently on a 50-city U.S. tour, “An Intimate Evening of Grand Illusion.”