Stick shifts are great as car theft deterrent

by Cornelius Nunev

A car robbery was recently foiled in St. Louis, Mo., as the thief could not drive a stick shift. Similar reports occur fairly regularly, so it is safe to say that a manual transmission is an excellent theft deterrent.

Stick shift foils vehicle theft

A great anti-theft system for cars could be an old and low-tech device compared to complicated alarm systems, namely a manual transmission.

One male was being held by gun point in St. Louis, Mo., by a robber who wanted the car. The thief was not able to drive a stick shift and was upset to find out it was a stick. The car owners gave the thief a ride to his destination and dropped him off after the embarrassing incident.

Fewer manuals ergo fewer can drive them

A stick shift is a deterrent because fewer automobiles have them and, naturally, fewer people vehicle drive them. According to Fox Business, only 6.7 percent of brand new vehicle sales in 2010 were manual transmission-equipped vehicles, compared to 22.2 percent in 1990 and 34.6 percent in 1980. As fewer people are driving them, more instances occur of a stick shift transmission foiling a vehicle theft.

However, as a police officer quoted by Fox points out, the deterrent depends on the robber being a mechanical nincompoop. A manual is in neutral when parked, which means it can effortlessly be pushed from its parking spot. A thief that knows what they are doing, on the other hand, can very easily make off with a vehicle.

A humorous read

It is still really interesting to read stories like this. A couple of teens were still attempting to determine how you can make the car start when police arrived on scene. The teens did not know the best way to drive a manual, but they took the man's wallet and keys before trying to get in the car in 2007, according to Reuters United Kingdom.

In 2008, according to Inside Line, one Frank Singleton tried to rob a female of her Nissan 350ZX outside the jail he had just been released from in West Palm Beach, Fla.; however, couldn't drive a stick shift. Singleton was arrested in the parking lot and was booked on the felony charge of vehicle theft. His previous charge was only a misdemeanor. Singleton, according to the University of Kansas City-Missouri newspaper, was sentenced to six years in prison.

In May 2010, According to Crime Voice, a California crime news website, two thieves were twice foiled by the stick shift transmission in the same vehicle in two days. The pair stole the car on Thursday, May 20, abandoning it three blocks away when they could not drive the stick shift. The car was recovered by the owner the next day, only to find the robbers failing to get it in gear again later that night. They were arrested and charged with vehicle theft.

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