Bob Arno

Thiefhunting Entertainer

How a Comedy Pickpocket Career
Dovetails with Law and Lectures

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Twenty seconds. That’s how long it took to steal the man’s tie. The victim was Greg Hunter, investigative reporter for CNN’s Paula Zahn Now. The perpetrator, of course, was master thief Bob Arno. Who else can steal a necktie in a given, bumper-sized time slot?

It was unseasonably hot for a November day on the Las Vegas Strip. Mr. Arno was there with the CNN crew freshly flown in from New York and Atlanta. After a long morning shooting an interview in a suite-cum-studio at THEHotel (you must see the view from The Mix, the bar at the top of THEHotel), producer Pia Malbran asked Mr. Arno to point out stupid tourists on The Strip. There was no shortage of women carrying purses on their backs, men with wallets sticking out of rear pockets, and worse.

Bob Arno in Las Vegas crowd

Bob Arno points out vulnerabilities of tourists on the Las Vegas Strip.

Mr. Arno’s anti-theft expertise goes beyond the safe-stowage of valuables to the training of law enforcement worldwide. CNN asked how he dovetails the comedy and tragedy of thievery, and how he created a forked career presenting street crime as something to laugh at and something to prevent.

The segment was first broadcast on Paula Zahn Now, then was repeated several times on CNN Headline News.