Would-be carjacker unable to drive stick shift runs away

SAN DIEGO – A would-be carjacker who didn’t know how to drive a stick shift was foiled when he tried to steal a car with manual transmission in San Diego’s Fox Canyon neighborhood, police said Friday.

Two teenagers were sitting in the car around 10:45 p.m. Thursday in a hilly residential area near Auburn Drive and Wightman Street when a young man approached the passenger window and demanded the victims’ phones, San Diego police Officer Robert Heims said. The man then demanded the victims, an 18-year-old man and 17-year-old boy, get out of the car.

“They got out and the suspect got in and tried to drive away,” Heims said. “He revved the engine several times but the car did not go. It appeared the suspect did not know how to drive a manual and got out and ran away.”

The victims described the hapless suspect as a skinny, 5-foot-7-inch black man between 18 and 20 years old. He was wearing a grey hoodie and dark pants.

Detectives from the San Diego Police Department’s robbery unit were investigating, and anyone with information about the attempted carjacking was asked to call the robbery unit at 619-531-2299 or San Diego County Crime Stoppers at 888-580-8477.