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We are all a little upset with car dealerships right now, but one man in Sioux Falls, SD, is clearly more upset than the rest of us. Two days ago, Joseph Blackbonnet took an axe to several new cars in the lot. Amid the ongoing inventory shortage, this vandalism hit the dealer in a particularly soft spot. 

ax damage on new car
Ax damage on new car | Dakota News Now

Tensions are high at car dealerships

Blackbonnet was allegedly caught on film taking an axe to Graham Automotive’s inventory. The suspect is accused of smashing the windows of 18 cars on the lot. You can watch the video here.

“We had a few people call that saw a guy breaking windows on new cars. It turns out he was using an axe, was swinging it, and breaking windshields and windows and into the car itself,” said Sam Clemens, Sioux Falls Police Department.

In an interview with Dakota News Now, Kyle Kneip, the dealer’s sales manager, said, “Having a car being axed is one thing that I’ve never had happen before. Our owner has been in the car business for over fifty years, and this is the first time he has ever said that he’s had cars axed. So hopefully, it doesn’t happen again, but it happened.” 

What caused the destruction? 

video screen shot of man hitting new cars at dealership with an axe.
Man hitting car with ax | Dakota News Now

Bluebonnet hasn’t said why he smashed the cars, but it would be easy to speculate. Going to the car lots has never been an overly fun time. However, these days, most people’s experience buying a car is horrendous. Dealerships have low inventory, and what they o have is so inflated that buying anything feels like robbery. 

This isn’t to say any dealerships deserve to have their inventory smashed up. The only point in bringing this up is that many customers are feeling hopeless and frustrated with the financial situation in the country; whether trying to buy a car, a house, or even groceries, life is getting expensive at a rate that feels unsustainable. 

We recently covered a story about a dealership inflating the price of a new Ford Maverick by $20,000, nearly doubling the cost of Ford’s cheapest vehicle. 

In another instance of extremely inflated car prices, a Chevy dealership in Florida recently asked $100,000 over MSRP for a 2023 Corvette Z06. Despite the performance and difficulty in getting your hands on one, that kind of inflation is reminiscent of a post-war collapse. 

The dealership is going to have to fix the cars

A customer checks out a used Corvette at a dealership.
A customer checks out a used Corvette at a dealership. | Getty Images

This was a tough blow to the dealership after a tough few years. 

“In general, inventory has been difficult to come by. All our cars on our front line were new at that point; we had gotten some in, we had been doing well,” said Kneip.

The dealership must now wait for insurance claims to be processed so the valuable inventory can be repaired and put back on sale. 

“You do the police report so insurance can absolutely start to get going; we immediately started ordering parts, windshield, you know whatever, headlights, whatever was damaged,” said Kneip.


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