Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN

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February 12, 2013

Sticking it to car thieves

I hate to say I told you so, but ... no, wait. I don't hate it at all. In fact, today is one of those occasions when I love to say I told you so.

For years I have discussed the benefits of the manual transmission for our motor vehicles. Well, I call it discussion, but it was really more like shouting into the wind. People just don't want to shift their own gears anymore, no matter how much you point out that it makes you a better driver, more in control of your vehicle, and all that malarkey.

They don't even respond when you bring up what I consider the number-one argument in favor of a manual transmission: Theft deterrence. As in (big-budget Hollywood movies about glamorous auto thieves notwithstanding) most people today have no idea how to drive a stickshift, and while their behavior might indicate otherwise, carjackers are people. And as such, can't shift their own gears. Need proof? Try this on for size, fresh from the World Wide Interweb Thingie:

"Two armed men attempted to carjack a Corvette, Orlando police say, but were unable to figure out how to work the manual transmission.

"The Corvette's owner, 51-year-old Randolph Bean, told WKMG-TV he was sitting in the yellow vehicle waiting for his wife to get out of work at the Orlando Regional Medical Center at around 11:20 p.m. He saw two men approaching the car with a gun pointed at him. Bean says they opened the door and forced him out of the vehicle. One man held him on the ground at gun point.

"The second man, he says, got into the vehicle and, after some apparent confusion, started screaming, 'How do I start the car?' at Bean."

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