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Transmission Impossible: Would-Be Car Thief Thwarted by Stick Shift


A St. Louis man says he was held at gunpoint before young thieves tried — and failed — to steal his car.

Dustin French believes he's lucky to be alive and credits his own quick thinking. He's also lucky to still have his car, thanks to its stick shift.

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His close encounter occurred late Thursday as he was getting home for the night. 

"A car came up right behind sort of half parallel parked behind me," he told KMOV. "A passenger got out with a firearm, told me to get out of my car and empty my pockets."

French said he immediately asked what the thieves wanted him to do.

"All I got out luckily were my keys and I said what do I do now. I was asking for orders," French said. "He said get up and walk away. Face away and keep walking."

French did as instructed. However, his car remained in front of his house.

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French believes the wannabe thief didn't know how to drive a manual transmission.

Police believe the attempted car thief was in his late teens or early 20's. Anyone in the Benton Park neighborhood of St. Louis whose home security camera may have recorded any of the incident is asked to contact police.

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