An Attempted Carjacking Foiled by Manual Transmission

( — On Sunday, November 26, violent carjackers in Maryland failed in their attempt to steal a man’s SUV when they discovered that it was a manual transmission and none of them could drive it. The victim was in front of a business when he was approached by several people who demanded his car keys at gunpoint.

He says that he sustained injuries when they beat him with a pistol. He then ran into a nearby business, where he said that he could hear shots being fired. After realizing they could not operate his SUV, the suspects got into another vehicle and fled the scene.

A similar carjacking took place in March in Germantown, Maryland, and was thwarted by the teenage perpetrators’ inability to drive a car with a manual transmission. The victim had just finished pumping fuel into his car at the Sunoco gas station and was getting into the vehicle when the would-be thieves ran over and forced his car door open. Then they grabbed him and demanded his keys. The motorist gave them the keys, but when they got into the vehicle, the would-be thieves quickly realized they didn’t know how to operate it. At that point, they leapt out of the car and ran away. When police arrived, the suspects were still nearby, and after a brief foot chase, they were taken into custody.

Law enforcement officials have noted an increase in carjackings in Washington, D.C., and the neighboring areas of Maryland and Virginia. In 2018, there were reportedly 200 such incidents, but by the end of 2022, there were more than 1000. Although task forces have been assembled to fight this increasingly common type of crime, each year has had more carjackings than less.

While officials and community leaders have pointed to worsening gaps in the nation’s social safety net as a factor, others have expressed frustration that the victims, who are often traumatized in some instances, have been killed by the car thieves.

Communities are wondering what effect the dangers of this sort of crime will have on the holiday season and the shoppers local businesses depend on.

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