Until recently, buying a car with a manual transmission was a lifestyle choice, one made either for the lower purchase price or because the buyer enjoyed the additional level of driving engagement.

But as the stickshift continues its slow descent into obscurity, with fewer and fewer drivers learning how to use one, the three-pedal trans is starting to serve a new purpose: anti-theft device.

As CP24 reports, a teacher who had stopped for her morning infusion of caffeine at a Tim Horton’s in suburban Toronto was about to continue on her way to school when two men, one of them brandishing a gun, approached her in her car in the parking lot.

She obeyed when they told her to get out of the car and watched as they got in, then dashed out and back to a nearby getaway car. The closest thing the cops could figure is the suspects couldn’t drive the manual transmission in the woman’s car, so they bolted, leaving her frazzled but unharmed.

Perhaps the weirdest part is Toronto police said this was the second such incident reported that morning in the same part of town: two suspects forced someone out of their car, got in, then got out again and ran away.

The manual transmission may be on its way to an ignominious end, but it’s not going down without taking a swipe at crime.

(via CP24)