Teens' Attempt at Carjacking Foiled by a Stick Shift

Stick ShiftThree would-be carjackers had their joyriding plans foiled on Saturday, as they attempted to steal an elderly woman's vehicle. The Seattle teens couldn't drive a stick shift.

Snort. Yup, these punk kids held up 70-year-old Nancy Fredrickson at gunpoint for her keys, had the poor lady in tears, climbed into her car while she watched, and then got confused by the clutch. "I got a five speed in there," Fredrickson said. "They couldn't figure out how to get it going!"


The woman said she was retrieving something from the trunk of her Kia when she was approached by a young man, who demanded she hand over her keys. She thought it was a joke until she saw the gun, which was being held only inches from her face. "It's not every day you get a gun stuck in your face!" Fredrickson said.

She dropped the keys in terror, and the hooded youth grabbed them and jumped into her car, along with two of his delinquent friends. That's when they discovered stick shifts are hard.

A neighbor thought the whole thing was hilarious. Ryan Whitney exclaimed, "They can’t drive a stick?"

The teens ditched the vehicle and ran away, maybe to a driver's ed course or something.

As hilarious as this story is after the fact, at the time it had to be terrifying. Fredrickson said she was in tears as she called 911, and then she watched as police dusted for prints and took DNA evidence from inside her car. That has to shake a person up.

Neighbor Ronnie Conley wondered why the carjackers would even try to steal a ride from the affordable senior housing apartments where they live. "We're all elderly up in here ... know what I’m saying? It's scary! In broad daylight, too."

Thankfully, Fredrickson seems to be fine now. Her overall comment on the whole ordeal says it all. "It was quite an interesting day," she said. "Let’s put it that way."  

Do you know how to drive a stick?


Image via Craig Oppenheimer/Flickr

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