ST. PETERSBURG — Two would-be carjacking victims still have their car after their assailants were thwarted by an unlikely ally: The car's stick shift.
Police said a 45-year-old man was dropping off a work truck on the 1000 block of 31st Street S just before 1 a.m. His 23-year-old girlfriend came to pick him up in her 2007 Nissan, which has a manual transmission.
She stopped to let her boyfriend get out and lock up at the business' gate. As he returned to the car and the pair got ready to drive away, two men appeared on either side, police said.
One pulled out a handgun and told them to get out or they would shoot. The couple got out. The two men demanded money and a cell phone, but apparently only got the latter, police said.
The men then jumped into the vehicle and started it up, but that's where they were foiled. They couldn't drive a stick.
Police said the two men gave up and ran north on 31st Street.
They were both described as black, 5 feet 8 to 5 feet 9, medium build with dreadlocks and no facial hair. They were wearing black-hooded jackets and black jeans.
Police ask anyone with information to call them at (727) 893-7780.