We could sit here and tell you all the car-nerd reasons we love manual transmissions, but the three-pedal layout has one huge upside regardless of whether you’re an enthusiast: deterring car thieves.
Most Americans don’t know how to drive stick, and apparently, that includes Damari Wayne. The 18-year-old is accused of committing three armed carjackings in 10 days, and was caught because the last car he allegedly took in Cleveland had a clutch pedal, according to Cleveland.com.
Wayne reportedly is facing three charges of aggravated robbery and was held on $100,000 bond before his case was handed over to the Cuyahoga County grand jury Friday.
The first alleged carjacking took place Feb. 11, when Wayne and three other individuals surrounded a man at a CVS as he got out of his 2004 Nissan, took his keys and drove off, according to police. Wayne was charged in that robbery Feb. 13 and released the following day on $10,000 bond.
Police reportedly said Wayne committed the other two thefts within one hour of each other Feb. 21. He and a 17-year-old allegedly held up a women at a Walgreen’s around 9:30 p.m. using an airsoft gun.
Shortly afterward, police said they approached a man sitting in his car on the side of the road and ordered him to get out, threatening to kill him if he didn’t comply, according to Cleveland.com. When he got out of the car they took his cell phone and attempted to drive off.
Rather than abandoning the theft once they noticed the car had a manual, the teenager reportedly pointed the gun at the car’s owner and forced him to explain how to change gears. Once it was evident they weren’t going to successfully set off, Wayne and the teen reportedly fled with the man’s cell phone.
Police tracked the phone to the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority’s Puritas-West 150th Street station, where police found the two men with the airsoft gun, stolen phone and keys to both stolen vehicles.
Thumbnail photo via Nissan