A Stick Shift Once Again Stopped A Wannabe Car Thief Dead In His Tracks


This is yet another reason to save the manuals.

The jury is still out on whether manual transmissions really do deter car thieves in the United States. But stories like this one out of St. Louis make us think they do. David French told St. Louis news station KMOV that he was the victim of a failed carjacking. French believes the thief failed in his attempt to steal his Nissan Altima because he couldn’t drive stick. The whole thing started around 11:00 P.M. on a recent Thursday night when the motorist left a gas station on the south side of St. Louis.

French lives about a half mile away from the gas station, and when he pulled up at home he noticed that another car was right behind him. “A car came up right behind sort of half parallel parked behind me. A passenger got out with a firearm, told me to get out of my car and empty my pockets,” he told KMOV. The firearm-wielding thief told his victim to face away and start walking. That's when his manual transmission troubles began. The thief ended up leaving empty handed. “All I got out luckily were my keys,” he said. The suspect, believed to be in his late teens or early 20s, is still on the loose. Stories of car thieves trying and failing to steal cars with manual transmissions don’t come around very often, but they’re not exactly rare either.

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Earlier this year we shared the tale of master Chicago car thief Ladell T. Cox. He tried to car jack a guy and then realized that his victim drove stick. He handed the keys back to the baffled driver, as one does in such a circumstance, and asked for a ride. (You can guess how that story turned out.) A couple of years back a would-be car thief named Annas Abdel-Khaliq was busted after stalling a 2012 Chevrolette Corvette Grand Sport he tried to steal from a service shop.

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