The art of knowing how to be a three-pedal driver is dying. It's unfortunate for us enthusiasts, who no longer see many mass market vehicles cater to us, with the five speeds of yesteryear replaced with six, eight, or ten-speed automatics, and even the foulness that is the CVT. On the bright side, fewer manual cars means fewer new drivers are taught how to work a clutch, which means some carjacking attempts fall apart when the would-be thieves don't see PRNDL on the knob. For example, a crime spree was interrupted Tuesday morning in Brampton, Canada, by the record scratch of a manual transmission, according to the Brampton Guardian.
Dalbir Singh Dhaliwal, 34, was arrested at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday as a suspect in a string of crimes committed in the morning hours of the day. At about 7:30 a.m., a man with a knife stole an Acura crossover, which was wrecked 20 minutes later after the thief crashed into a municipal bus. The man abandoned the damaged car, and forced his way into the basement of a nearby home, stealing the keys to the residents' car at knifepoint. Unfortunately for the thief, the car he was trying to steal was a manual, so he again ditched the vehicle and fled on foot.
This is not the first case of a manual transmission preventing a carjacking, and it probably won't be the last. In July, a woman scared off some thugs by throwing her car into neutral and jumping from the rolling car, giving her time to escape the armed men. Back in March, another attempted carjacking failed for the same reasons, with the crooks instead stealing the driver's phone… and the GPS inside the phone later led police to the thieves' arrests.
The moral of the story could be that you need to learn manual, but here's a better one: don't steal cars.