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Stick shift trips up attempted car thieves

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Three teens attempted to steal a Seattle woman’s car, but couldn’t drive a stick shift. (Source: KIRO/CNN) Three teens attempted to steal a Seattle woman’s car, but couldn’t drive a stick shift. (Source: KIRO/CNN)

SEATTLE (KIRO/CNN) – Three teens tried to steal an elderly woman's car in Seattle on Sunday, but there was one problem – none of them knew how to drive it.

"And he says I want your car keys," carjacking victim Nancy Fredrickson said.

Fredrickson, 70, was grabbing something from the trunk of her car when she suddenly saw a gun inches from her face.

"You turn around and here's this big gun right here, right here," Fredrickson said.

She dropped her keen and says the three teens jumped into her Kia. The only problem was none of them knew how to drive a stick shift.

"I've got a five-speed in there and they couldn't figure out how to get it going," Fredrickson said.

So Fredrickson just stood there as they tried and failed, a hilarious fact to her neighbors.

"They can't drive a stick," neighbor Ryan Whitney asked. "That's like unmanly."

But the teens didn't find it funny – they panicked, and surveillance video shows them sprinting across the parking lot of a business across a street, with one bolting in another direction from his accomplices.

And it turns out, the one thing that held up the suspects may help lead police to finding them. Fredrickson says she saw police officers taking fingerprints off the gear shift. Police also got DNA evidence.

Other neighbors are surprised the would-be carjackers even tried it at 4:30 p.m. – the middle of the day.

"We're all elderly up here, you know? Yeah. You know what I'm saying? It's scary in broad daylight too," neighbor Ronnie Conle said.

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

"It was quite an interesting day, let's put it that way," Fredrickson said.

Copyright 2014 KIRO via CNN. All rights reserved.

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