Crime and Safety

Teenage car thieves apprehended after pesky manual transmission thwarts their scheme: police

They are not for nothing called “anti-theft devices of the millennium.”

Maryland police said a violent carjacking was thwarted last weekend because the alleged kidnappers were sorely lacking in one critical skill needed to pull off a robbery: the ability to operate a gearbox.

The incident took place on Saturday at gas station in Germantown.

According to their report, the man had just finished filling the car and was getting into the car when two male teenagers ran up to him.

“Minor forced opened the door, grabbed the victim and demanded the keys from him,” the message says. “The victim complied with the demands of minors.”

But from that moment on, the meeting did not go as planned.

“The minors got into the car of the victim and tried to leave.”

Do you prefer to drive a car with a manual transmission?

The key word there is “try”.

The video showed some movement in the driver’s seat, but as the seconds went by, the car refused to move.

In the end, the intruders realized that they had little time and would not be able to start the car.

“I can’t manage Manual Transmissionthe juveniles got out of the car and fled the scene on foot,” the police said.

A few minutes later, near the crime scene, law enforcement officers saw two minors.

“When the officers tried to detain them, they fled on foot. After a short chase, the juveniles were quickly detained,” the statement said.

Officers detained a 16-year-old from Rockville and a 17-year-old from Washington, DC.

“Both juveniles were arrested and taken to the Montgomery County Central Processing Unit, where they were charged as adults with one count of auto theft and one count of conspiracy theft. They are currently being held without bail,” the statement said.

This is not the first time a theft has been prevented thanks to a manual transmission.

The same Montgomery County law enforcement agency reported similar incidentt in February, and same case was registered in other areas Also.

Situation general enough — and comically enough — that it even inspired his own social media meme:

Unfortunately, such examples are likely to become increasingly rare as manual transmission cars become a thing of the past. Carmax reported in 2020 that only 2.4% of cars sold had shift levers, down from 3.7% in 2018 and down sharply from 1995 when they were fitted to 26.8% of cars sold.

But they haven’t completely disappeared – yet. motor trend reported in February that 30 vehicles from 17 manufacturers continue to offer the standard transmission as an option for 2023.

An auto enthusiast news outlet explained the feature’s appeal beyond theft protection.

“Even in non-racing vehicles, the ability to row yourself provides an engagement and level of control that DCTs and automatics lack, so a very vocal minority of enthusiasts actively seek to keep the clutch in their, well, clutches,” the post reads. .

However, they had to acknowledge the waning popularity of gearshifting.

“What used to be the ubiquitous norm for virtually all high-performance (and many fuel-efficient) vehicles is now becoming more of a niche feature, disappearing from all but the most enthusiastic or least expensive vehicles,” laments Motor Trend.

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