On September 27, 2005, Zdravko Donev, a contractor from Bourgas, Bulgaria, woke up to discover seven pickaxes stuck in his Audi. It could have been the work of some local drunken degenerates, or the many people who complained that Zdravko had defrauded them, or the drug lord whose wife Zdravko was reportedly fucking on the side. Whatever the case, the incident was the first recorded case of a trend now sweeping the nation: People puncturing cars with heavy-duty hardware.
Forty of the 50 cases of tool-on-car crime have occurred in Bourgas, but the phenomenon has also spread to Sliven, where in 2009 some goons swung some hoes into their rivals’ rides, and Varna, where on June 10 a Mercedes burst into flames after a pair of pickaxes were shoved into the hood and caused a circuit to short. Most of the victims have pissed off organized crime in some way, such as Nedko Nedev, a bureaucrat who found an ax stuck in the roof of his car after informing prosecutors about cases of illegal logging.
Criminologists claim that the number and type of the tools used are symbolic. For example, when the purpose is to threaten someone who owes money, the number of tools lodged into a vehicle often represents the amount of cash he owes, and whether the instruments are old or new represents the recentness of the debt. Sometimes, if a target dares to dislodge the tools, they are replaced with new ones. The owner of a Mercedes in Gabravo that was attacked removed the tools stuck in his front and back hoods, only to have a fresh batch of axes stuck in his car the next morning. Talk about ax-idents (rimshot).