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Carjackers can't drive stick: Auto theft fail, crooks can't operate manual car

Carjackers can't drive a stick shift car, so fail at auto theft
Carjackers can't drive a stick shift car, so fail at auto theft
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Attempted carjackers can’t drive stick shift and end up being unsuccessful in a crime turned auto theft fail. News of these three teens is cruising across pop culture headlines this evening after it was reported that the young men tried to steal a car from a 70-year-old woman, but were foiled in their dastardly attempt because the crooks didn’t know how to operate a manual transmission. 5 News Online reports this Tuesday, June 24, that the surveillance video quickly became an online hit after it caught the young suspects first break into the vehicle, apparently find they couldn’t maneuver it properly, and finally run away on foot.

Police officials are working to bring the rogue teens from Seattle into custody, but it’s the events leading up to their forthcoming arrest — particularly the carjackers being unable to drive stick shift — that’s making this one would-be burglary turned into an epic fail. While on South Main Street in Seattle, WA, a 70-year-old woman was carjacked in her vehicle, a KIA. The female victim was saved not by her own doing, but because the attempted auto thieves had no clue what to do once they actually got into her car.

The woman in these illicit yet undeniably awkward circumstances is Nancy Frederickson. She spoke with police authorities in the area as well as media sources to tell her story. The willful car owner seemed to have a “serves you right” demeanor toward the stealing teens.

“I got a five speed in there,” Frederickson mentioned of her vehicle, an old KIA. “They couldn’t figure out how to get it going!”

While she was pulled over and opening up her trunk, the 70-year-old said that she was accosted by a young man in a hoodie. He ordered her to give him her keys. The female victim said she thought it was little more than a practical prank at first, but when she saw a gun being pointed straight at her by one of the carjackers, Frederickson wasn’t laughing anymore. She dropped her keys and noticed two other crooks — as well as the gunman — enter her car.

“It’s not every day you get a gun stuck in your face,” she added.

The first part of the suspects’ plan might have gone smoothly, but CBS News reveals that the auto theft attempt turned into a major fail from that point forward. All three male teens were said to struggle in the face of a manual transmission, but none of them were able to make the vehicle move. Apparently, the shift stick was one piece of their nefarious plot they hadn’t prepared for. And because they couldn’t operate it, they couldn’t drive the car for a surprise getaway.

After several tense moments, the attempted carjackers threw caution to the winds and sprinted away from the KIA, hurrying into a nearby parking lot and out of sight. Yet security footage via a surveillance video overhead captured the whole video on film, so there was no true escape for them. DNA evidence and fingerprints were also salvaged from the trio’s brief take-over of the vehicle and are expected to be used in the police investigation. Yet while Frederickson says she finds the situation rather funny in hindsight, at the time of her 911 call, the auto theft felt very recent, very real, and very frightening.

In other pop culture and auto-related news that’s trending this week, a 1 minute parking sign was found to have been erroneously marked for years before anyone noticed it. Drivers must have been mighty confused when they attempted to park along the busy California street only to discover that they had but a minute, not an hour. The epic fail traffic sign has since been corrected and updated.

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