A STICK SHIFT AS AN ANTI-THIEF DEVICE
This article is from our archives and has not been updated and integrated with our "new" site yet... Even so, it's still awesome - so keep reading!
Published on Sat, Jul 23, 2011
By: The LACar Editorial Staff
BACK SEAT DRIVING—Did you know that a manual transmission can serve as an anti-theft device for your car? There once was a time when most American drivers knew how to use a stick shift. Not anymore. Today, the vast majority have very little experience driving a car with a manual transmission. The same goes for today’s amateur auto thieves evidently. Two consecutive events were recently reported where thieves abandoned the vehicles after having difficulty with the stick shift. In the first incident, a 16-year old teen was leaving the Pancho Villa Restaurant in Frederickburg, Virginia, and approaching his father’s car when a 21-year-old man demanded that the teen drive him somewhere. When the teen replied that he didn’t know how to drive a stick, “the man punched the boy in the head at some point, then ordered him into the passenger's seat and threatened to shoot him if he tried to run,” reported Keith Epps of the Freelance-Star. Loc got into the driver's seat and tried to leave in the car but was also unable to drive a stick shift.” The man abandoned the vehicle, but was subsequently arrested. “Police weren't immediately able to find the man, but he was spotted inside an IHOP restaurant about 40 minutes later by Deputy Kurt McBride,” said Epps. “Travis Allen Honore, whose last known address was in Woodbridge, was charged in Stafford with carjacking, robbery, abduction, driving on a suspended license, driving while intoxicated and assault and battery,” reports Epps. “He was placed in the Rappahannock Regional Jail under no bond.”
In the second incident, a man in Milwaukee, Wisconsin stole a stick shift-equipped Cadillac CTS-V from Reina Imports. “Employees from the dealer chased the man and he drove into a nearby parking lot to get away, but couldn't probably maneuver the car,” reported Nick Bohr of WISN. “Witnesses told 12 News it appeared the thief couldn't drive a stick shift, because he was driving slow, and they said they could hear the gears grinding.” WISN reported that Brookfield and Butler police subsequently arrived at the scene, and took the man into custody after a brief struggle. Late night TV host Jimmy Fallon commented on the last incident: “When he goes to the penitentiary, I’m sure he’ll receive plenty of schooling about 'stick shifts'.” - Roy Nakano For more on the Fredericksburg incident, click here. For more on the Milwaukee incident, click here.