Teens' attempted car theft foiled by stick shift

Teens' attempted car theft foiled by stick shift

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(Photo courtesy of KOMO) (Photo courtesy of KOMO)
SEATTLE - (KOMO) -- Three teens who tried to steal a Seattle woman's car Saturday afternoon may have learned a valuable lesson about driving: Learn how to drive a stick shift, police said.

Nancy Fredrickson said she spent most of Saturday on the water. When she got home after picking up a sleeping bag at a garage sale, she decided to take it out of her trunk.

"Slammed it down and that's when I turned around," Fredrickson said.

Three teenage boys were staring at her, she said. One of them had a gun pointed at her face.

"He goes 'I want your keys' and I thought it was a joke!" Fredrickson exclaimed.

Fredrickson said she quickly realized the teen pointing the gun at her face meant what he said.

"He says 'I want your keys!' I says 'There right here on the ground.' I had thrown them down like that," Fredrickson said while pointing to the pavement.

Fredrickson said her body froze as the three suspects got into her car thinking their getaway was within reach. There was just one problem.

"I got a 5-speed in there, and they couldn't figure out how to get it going," Fredrickson said.

Surveillance cameras at a nearby business captured the suspects running away through a nearby parking lot, police said. Officers never found them.

What the suspects didn't realize was Fredrickson is a black belt. She's studied martial arts for 25 years and used great discipline by simply standing in place during the attempted robbery, she said.

"You learn that if someone is trying, the best thing you can do is be still. And it's not easy for me to be still at times, but in that situation yes," Fredrickson said.

In the end, Fredrickson got the last laugh knowing she made the right decision 9 years ago to buy a manual transmission.

"I said I gotta have my car keys," Fredrickson said. "And I looked in and they had left them in the ignition."

Seattle police don't have clear descriptions of the three teenage suspects, they said. If you have any information about the case, call the Seattle Police Department.
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