It has been noted increasingly frequently of late that one of the better anti-theft devices you can have on your car is a manual transmission, since many would-be car thieves are flummoxed by the presence of a third pedal.

It turns out that a standard shift tranny is not the only way to make your car theft-proof these days. A young woman was car-jacked today in Oakland. That, sadly, is not news. What is news that that she suffered a beating because the carjackers demanded to know how to defeat the wizardry of her exotic anti-theft measures that prevented her car from starting.

The magical theft preventer?

One of these:

Police said the 17-year-old opened the car door, demanded she get out and took her purse. Since the Lexus does not use a key to start, the 17-year-old had to ask her how to start the vehicle.