The hapless trio should have had it in the bag.
Armed with a gun, they approached a 70-year-old woman just outside her Seattle home. Nancy Fredrickson, returning from a garage sale, was unloading items from the trunk of her Kia when one of them asked for her keys.
Fredrickson told KCPQ-TV in Tacoma she thought it was a joke — at first.
“But he said again 'I want your car keys,'” she told the station. “That’s when I saw the gun.”
Even though Fredrickson has a black belt in karate, part of that training is knowing when to fight — and when not to. Deciding she was at a disadvantage against three males and a gun stuck in her face, Fredrickson threw her keys on the ground.
But soon the trio was dealing with their own unfortunate disadvantage.
After piling into Fredrickson's Kia on Saturday, they discovered it was a manual transmission vehicle — and apparently none of them knew how to drive stick.
“I could hear them trying," she told KCPQ. "They put the keys in, they turned the lock, but they couldn’t figure out how to get it started.”
So they ditched the car and ran off.
“They can’t drive a stick?” one of Fredrickson's neighbors exclaimed to KIRO-TV. "That's like...unmanly!"
While the men were caught on surveillance video running through a nearby parking lot, police — who retrieved DNA and fiber evidence from the car — haven’t yet identified the males they say are black, possibly teenagers, and who were wearing hoodies at the time of the incident.
“I’m glad I didn’t panic," Fredrickson told KCPQ. "I was proud of myself."
Another neighbor, Ronnie Conley, told KIRO he's surprised the would-be carjackers tried to take the vehicle from in front of the affordable senior housing apartments where he and Fredrickson live.
“We're all elderly up in here,” he said. “Know what I’m saying? It's scary! In broad daylight, too.”
Despite the negative experience and her tearful phone call to 911, Fredrickson told KCPQ she isn't angry.
“Afterwards I just said, 'Father, forgive them for they know not what they did,'" she said.
“I’m 70 years old — I’ve got a lot of life left in me.”