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Phoenix Woman Tries to Steal Car, Gets Stumped by Automatic Transmission

If you can't figure out how to get this car to move, auto theft is probably not the right career for you.
If you can't figure out how to get this car to move, auto theft is probably not the right career for you.
Robert Couse-Baker via Flickr

Every so often, you'll see stories from around the country about wannabe car thieves who don't make off with their new ride because they don't know how to operate a manual transmission.

However, police say a woman who tried to steal a car in Phoenix got stumped by an automatic transmission.

According to police, a man was dropping off his kids at a home near 35th Avenue and Encanto Boulevard on Saturday evening and left the car running on the driveway while he went inside the home with the youngsters.

The man ran back outside after he heard his engine revving and saw that a woman, 19-year-old Jasmine Hernandez, was in the driver's seat of his vehicle, according to court documents obtained by New Times.

The owner of the vehicle (make and model were not specified in court filings) opened the door in an attempt to prevent her from getting away and saw that she was frantically using the levers that adjust the lights and windshield wipers in an attempt to put the car into drive.

"It seem[ed] . . . Jasmine did not know how to operate the vehicle," a police probable-cause statement says.

Hernandez was apparently unaware that some vehicles -- in fact, many, many vehicles -- don't have column-mounted shifters.

The owner of the vehicle was able to pull Hernandez out and detain her until police arrived.

Police discovered Hernandez had a warrant out for her arrest for aggravated assault and arrested her on those charges. So far, Hernandez hasn't even been charged with any crimes related to her very poor attempt at stealing the vehicle, court records show.


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Follow Matthew Hendley on Twitter at @MatthewHendley.


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