Teens try to steal car but can't drive a stick shift

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Three teens tried to steal a Seattle woman’s car Saturday afternoon, but couldn’t because none of them knew how to drive a stick shift.

“I got a five speed in there,” Nancy Fredrickson, 70, said. “They couldn't figure out how to get it going!”

Fredrickson said she had just walked around the back of her KIA to get something from the trunk when she heard someone demanding her keys.

At first she thought it was a joke; then, she saw the gun.

“It's not every day you get a gun stuck in your face!" Fredrickson said. She said a teen wearing a hooded sweatshirt was holding a large gun only inches away.

Frederickson dropped her keys and said the teens jumped into the car.

But none of them knew how to drive it.

It was hilarious to Fredrickson’s neighbors.

“They can’t drive a stick?” Ryan Whitney exclaimed.

Fredrickson just stood behind her car as the teens tried and failed to get it to move.

Then they ran across South Main Street and through the neighboring business’ parking lot.

KIRO 7 obtained the surveillance video showing them sprint through the lot, with one teen bolting in another direction from his accomplices.

Fredrickson said while she’s laughing now, she was in tears as she called 911. She watched police take fingerprints. Seattle police also retrieved DNA and fiber evidence from the car.

Neighbor Ronnie Conley said he was surprised the would-be carjackers even tried to take the vehicle.

“We're all elderly up in here,” he said, gesturing to the affordable senior housing apartments where he and Fredrickson live. “Know what I’m saying? It's scary! In broad daylight, too.”

Fredrickson said she never imagined a stick shift would trip up three car thieves, but she’s thrilled she and the car survived unharmed.

“It was quite an interesting day,” she said. “Let’s put it that way.”