The incident unfolded about 9:15 p.m. Aug. 2 at Westfield Montgomery mall in Bethesda, Md.
Montgomery County police said a man was walking back to his car in a garage when two men came up to him. One demanded the victim’s car keys, and the other threatened him and implied that he was armed with a weapon, police said.
The robbers took the man’s keys, got into the car and started it. But that’s when they discovered a problem, police said.
Detectives said the “suspects then realized that they could not drive a manual transmission.”
A surveillance video shows the would-be car thieves fleeing.
Anyone with information is asked to call 240-773-5100. A cash reward is being offered in the case.