Manual cars are very definitely less likely to be stolen. There are fewer and fewer people who know how to drive stick any more. They used to be more fuel efficient than an automatic but with CVTs and some of the other advances, automatic fuel mileage can be as good or better than manual.
I still remember the day at work we were getting a lot of snow and it was suggested that we move our vehicles from the parking lot at the bottom of the hill to a different one at the top of the hill. I went first, put it in second gear to start off and walked right up the hill with just all season tires on it. My coworker with the big boat of a car needed to be pushed to get going. And my other coworker with a manual couldn't get up the hill, even with pushing. I finally went to the driver's window and asked, 'What gear are you in?' 'First.' 'Put it in second.' Walked right up. If it is really icy, I'll even start in third. It's tricky to not stall but it makes it a lot easier to get going, especially in a Subaru with all wheel drive.
DF and I were coming back from my Dads a few weeks ago. He was driving my car because I'd been doing most of the driving that day and wanted a break. As luck would have it, we hit a traffic jam due to a construction lane closure. As it continued, I realized he was going to start having trouble with his knees because of all the shifting so when the traffic came to a dead stop, we jumped out and changed drivers. Good job - we were in that for over an hour. And hit another slow down that we were able to bypass and actually picked up time.