November 26th, 2010
07:21 PM ET

Thefts, stampedes make Black Friday blue for some

[cnn-video url="http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/us/2010/11/26/fl.black.friday.shoppers.robbed.wpbf"%5D

Call it a case of consumerism bringing out the worst in people.

Three women in West Palm Beach, Florida, say $1,000 worth of Best Buy merchandise was stolen from their car Friday morning within minutes of being purchased, according to CNN affiliate WPBF.

The women were the first people at Best Buy after camping out since Wednesday night.

After they made their purchases, they put them in the car and went to JC Penney. A few minutes later, they returned, and the goods were gone.

"I mean, we've been camping since Wednesday," a tearful Shereece Francis told WPBF. "Just cruel, just wicked."

The women weren't the only ones to experience Black Friday car troubles.

At least 10 shoppers in St. Louis, Missouri, left Best Buy to find that their cars had been towed, CNN affiliate KSDK reports.

The customers had parked in a lot adjacent to Best Buy belonging to a T-Mobile store. They told KSDK there were no signs saying parking was for T-Mobile customers only, just a small, upside down sign from "Bulldog Towing" warning about abandoned or illegally parked cars.

Now, those customers are out $335.

"We're going to have to return our gifts that we bought on Black Friday just to get the car from tow," said Lavorn Ford, who had purchased a Playstation 3 for his son. "It's frustrating because you get up early in the morning to get your kids stuff for Christmas and then this stuff happens. "

A T-Mobile store manager said the store needed the parking lot when it opened at 7 a.m.

"Our lot was full by 4 and then again by 6, so we would have opened up our business and not had any spots," store manager Brian Fisher said.

It seems that some people will go to extreme lengths in the name of their children. A Wisconsin woman who cut in front of a long line of Black Friday shoppers was arrested, police say, after she allegedly threatened to shoot those she moved ahead of.

"I just wanted to get my daughter the toy that she wanted for Christmas, which probably won't be there when I go today," Lanessa L. Lattimore, 21, told CNN.

Lattimore attempted to cut in front of a line of "several hundred shoppers" at a Toys R Us store in Madison, Wisconsin, on Thursday, according to a police report. Lattimore admitted there had been a confrontation in the line but disputed the details.

"Everybody was cutting in line. But there was one girl who was threatening me, so I told her that I'd shoot her," Lattimore told CNN. "I'm not a violent person, but police charged me with disorderly conduct."

Several eager shoppers were trampled Friday morning as they surged through Target store doors in North Buffalo, New York.

CNN affiliate WIVB had a camera inside the Target and captured the drama. People at the front of the line were pushed to the floor when doors opened. The commotion and screams drew additional store staff to sort the crowd out. 

"It went from controlled to a mob in less than five minutes," shopper Rich Mathewson told WIVB. "And then it just got nasty."

Several people had cut into the line, angering the crowd, Mathewson said.

Unruly Wal-Mart shoppers in Sacramento, California, prompted an evacuation of the store, affiliate KTXL reported.

Just after the store opened its doors at 5 a.m., customers became pushy and unruly.

Sacramento Sheriff's officers were called in to help clear the store and everyone was ordered to leave their carts in the store and exit. Once everyone outside calmed down, shoppers were allowed back in to finish their shopping, according to KTXL.

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Filed under: Crime • Holidays
soundoff (1,197 Responses)
  1. Ituri

    All reasons why I don't bother leaving the house on Black Friday. Too many idiots and criminals out there that make just leaving the house a hazard, whether you're shopping or not. Its not worth bothering, especially since you can order *anything* online, no fuss and usually free shipping too. No reason to get up at 3, be there at 4, wait till they open at 7, get the toy 7:10, get in line 7:30, get trampled 7:45, put toys in car 7:50, shop till 8:30, return to car to find broken window and no toys 8:35, lather, rinse, repeat.

    November 27, 2010 at 1:05 am | Report abuse |
  2. Rob

    I'm disgusting by people who just take it to far. Black Friday is always be a dangerous day

    November 27, 2010 at 1:07 am | Report abuse |
  3. MrJeffrey2012

    Anybody that waits outside a store at 5am are ignorant. I laugh at these people who think it's so important. Every one of them, fools. Fools, because they don't know how to conduct themselves, acting like a bunch of animals, injuring others trying to get through the door at 5am. Really is this what America has come to, people who buy things they don't need, at the risk of injuring others.

    November 27, 2010 at 1:10 am | Report abuse |
  4. Katie

    I have shopped on Black Friday. I waited several years for the price of flat-screen TV's to go down.When they fell far enough, I received a further discount when making the purchase on Black Friday. I see nothing wrong with saving money. I enjoy outdoor activities with my sons, especially snow skiing. If I can save a few bucks on xmas items, and put the change towards a nice ski trip, why not? As far as the handful of issues this story reported on - I am sure it is the exception and not the rule. Reporting on shoppers being kind and friendly would not sell stories, now would it?

    November 27, 2010 at 1:22 am | Report abuse |
  5. Susie

    This is just riduculous. Every year someone asks me "Are you going shopping on Friday" and every year I say "Oh hell no!" Black Friday has absolutely nothing to do with Christmas, just as Christmas no longer has anything to do with the birth of Christ. People are struggling to put food on the table, and yet they manage to have the latest release of everything on the planet. Alll the apps in the world will not keep your babies safe or warm or fed or nurtured. Our priorities are way out of line with our budgets and people just don't seem to get that it's far more important to feed your children than it is to keep up with the Jones', or the Kardashians, or whoever you're trying to emulate. Grow the hell up people; black Friday should not be a competive sport.

    November 27, 2010 at 1:35 am | Report abuse |
  6. stunned

    THANX TO ALL EXPLAINING BLACK FRIDAY TO ME. AND JEFF U R SO RIGHT. WHY CANT WE HAVE WHITE FRIDAY. WHITE XMAS. WHITE HALLOWEEN... MAN THIS COUNTRY IS STILL VERY RACIST AND IT IS SAD. AM EUROPEAN AND NEVER CONSIDER MYSELF WHITE IN THIS COUNTRY. CAUSE WHITE EUROPEANS ARE WAY DIFFERENT THAN WHITE AMERICANS. SAD BUT TRUE. EUROPEAN WITH MIXED KIDS AND IT IS SO SAD TO BE FEELING DISCRIMINATED AGAINST. COLORS DONT MATTER. PEOPLE KILL PEOPLE OVER NOTHING AND IT IS VERY UNSDAFE OUT THERE. THE WORLS IS DYING IN MANY WAYS AND PEOPLE WORRY ABOUT THE DAY AFTER THANKSGIVING. THATS A SHAME. YOU ALL BE GOOD. GOT TO HELP FAMILIES IN NEED. AND YES PEOPLE OVERSEAS DONT LIKE GREEDY AMERICANS....CAUSE THE GREED IS SPILLING OVERSEAS. WAKE UP AND LETS LEARN TO PAY IT FORWARD INSTEAD OF PAYING MATERIAL BUSINESSES WHO USE PEOPLE. AMEN

    November 27, 2010 at 1:39 am | Report abuse |
  7. william

    Black Friday probally would be a much better ordeal if it was not for all those crazy stupid woman shoppers out there.

    November 27, 2010 at 1:43 am | Report abuse |
  8. stunned

    A black santa would be nice to have:)

    November 27, 2010 at 1:44 am | Report abuse |
  9. Robert

    I'm so disgusted with the commercialism of Christmas...I mean, "the holiday season"...that I'm inclined not to even do a gift exchange with my family this year. Rather, to focus on spending the day together, enjoy a meal, play games and chat. We don't need to give gifts, our presence should be presents enough. If you're Christian, discuss and reflect on what the holiday represents. If you're not, at least consider why you're expected to buy so many gifts every year, which the recipient may not really want or need, and which you may not be able to truly afford.

    Seriously, the last 2 months of the year are now devoted not to anything resembling celebrating the birth of the Messiah, or really even to being with your family...it's all about spending money, all about creating a frenzy to shop. If retailers would offer sales more often during the year rather than saving it for Black Friday, they would enjoy healthier sales the other three quarters of the year, and customers would be able to more comfortably afford what they want or need, rather than being encouraged to over-spend in November and spend the next 11 months or longer paying it off.

    November 27, 2010 at 2:02 am | Report abuse |
  10. Clarance Bodiger

    Student here, and I will admit when I have money I go to black friday. And I will run over every soccer mom, old person, or even christ himself for eletronic trinkets. You people act very high and mighty "oh look at the sheep, people forgot about about the real reason for the holidays". Honestly I'm surprised you mini van driving shrews haven't figured out how to online shop. That's what me and my friends did. Smoked a bunch of weed and bought things. Because things are much more important than god, family, and country. Also its very funny when people get robbed on the hoildays I laughed and laughed when I read this article.

    November 27, 2010 at 2:16 am | Report abuse |
  11. NyteShayde

    Ah, the season of peace on earth and goodwill toward men. It just warms my heart to see this kind of generous camaraderie and sophisticated civility. I'm heartened and enthusiastic for the future my children will inherit...

    And in case you missed it, the preceding statement was dripping with sarcasm.

    November 27, 2010 at 2:19 am | Report abuse |
  12. LP

    I think we should rename it "Blackout Friday" and celebrate the day with drinking instead.

    November 27, 2010 at 2:25 am | Report abuse |
  13. joe

    Is this what christmas is ? I advise every one to buy only food for now and go back to God.. We became the joke of the world. We are becoming a 3d world country. May God help us all.

    November 27, 2010 at 2:31 am | Report abuse |
  14. Brenda

    The whole idea of "Black Friday" has gotten totally out of control. Partly, it is controlled by the vendors, and partly it is consumed by the general public. It is a horrible idea! First of all, there are only so many items that are used as the come-on products. After that, it is just a regular sale day. Why not wait until Dec. 2 or 4 or 10? It has become a sort of cultish thing, I fear; as in, "Oh, I was first in line at Wal-mart." I cannot think of any possible product that would be so grand that I would mix in that nasty crowd in order to buy!

    November 27, 2010 at 2:32 am | Report abuse |
  15. thequietone

    For the idiot who got your car towed you deserve it, maybe next time you'll pay attention to your surroundings. Its called black friday because it pulls the stores out of the red and into the black. And yes I participate in this Animalistic tradition but im young and live on my own and its the only way my family gets X-mas gifts. if your child needs a piece of electronics to make their X-mas good then you have raised a pathetic child. It makes me worry when i think what america is going to be like in the future if this is what it is like now.......

    November 27, 2010 at 2:34 am | Report abuse |
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