Carjackers leave man's car behind after discovering it has a manual transmission


ST. LOUIS ( -- Dustin French has lived in the Benton Park neighborhood in south Saint Louis for five years.

He's from St. Charles but says he loves living in the city. After what happened last week he's glad to be alive and share words of warning to others.

“A car came up right behind sort of half parallel parked behind me. A passenger got out with a firearm, told me to get out of my car and empty my pockets,” French said.

Thursday night at about 11 p.m., French left a south side gas station and was heading to his home about a half mile away.

As he pulled up to the curb he noticed a car right behind him. That’s when the criminal approached him with a weapon.

“All I got out luckily were my keys and I said what do I do now. I was asking for orders,” French said. “‘He said get up and walk away. Face away and keep walking.”

He believes the gunman, who police say was late teens or early 20's, didn't steal his car because it was a stick.

French wrote about what happened on the social networking site Nextdoor. Some of the comments turned into a discussion about concealed carry, but he says he didn't want to spark a firearms discussion. Just warn people.

French says there were several things working against him that night.

He was alone. It was late at night. The street light by his place was burned out. He didn't notice he was being followed.

“I'm glad I didn’t panic or threaten violence or make any quick moves,” French said. “Kept my wits about me as best as I could. Asked thieves for instructions on what to do to prevent harm to myself”

He reported that burned out street light to the city. It's already been fixed. Police say the suspects' car was a silver Honda Accord. Anyone in the neighborhood who may have had a security camera operating that may have recorded any of the incident is asked to contact police.

Copyright 2016 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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