Stick shift foils car robbery, police say - Albuquerque Journal

Stick shift foils car robbery, police say

Alicia Herrera
HERRERA: Charged with robbery in incident in parking lot

A woman who tried to steal an unsuspecting grocery shopper’s sedan would have succeeded if not for one major obstacle — she didn’t know how to drive a car with a manual transmission.

Police say shopper Robert Hardy pulled into a parking spot in his black Nissan Sentra at the Smith’s grocery store near Carlisle and Constitution around 6 p.m. on Thursday.

A woman, later identified as Alicia Herrera, 22, walked up to him with her arm behind her back.

“I have a gun, get out of the car or I will shoot you,” she told Hardy, according to a criminal complaint filed in Metropolitan Court.

Hardy put his hands in the air and ran into the store to call the police. Another shopper who had pulled into the parking lot told officers he saw Hardy with his hands in the air, then saw Herrera jump into the driver’s seat.

Herrera waved a second shopper over to the car and asked him for help getting the car into reverse.

“(The shopper) realized the vehicle was stick shift and the female did not know how to engage the clutch or properly operate the vehicle,” an officer wrote in the complaint.

The shopper flagged down a responding officer, who approached Herrera. She ran from the officer, but was arrested across the street.

Police said Herrera appeared to be drunk, and she told officers she had been drinking.

She was charged with robbery and booked into the county jail.

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