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. Jason

    This narcissistic way about a lot of people makes me sick, the ways of many have driven me to loathe Christmas. It use to be about being with your family for the Holidays, and being thankful for what you have! But nowadays its; I want an I-pad, I want a PS-3, I want I want I want. These ways and technology will be the downfall of us all!

    November 26, 2010 at 8:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • CWBarrett

      Just because you grew up in a family where getting new Pajamas or a new hunting knife was an awesome present doesn't mean it's the same for the rest of us. Getting with the times and making your children happy isn't narcissistic, you don't want to do that, fine, but don't attempt to define other people.

      November 26, 2010 at 8:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Paul

      I think defining other people in a relatively logical and reasonable way is ok...we do it everyday Barret even if you dont realize it...

      discrimination, when bound by reasonable parameters can help us avoid dangerous situations, or in the case of Jason, can help us from becoming a superficial society...

      technology in and of itself will not be the downfall of us, but the way it makes us act on Black Friday is really a metaphor for the animalistic consumerism we espouse in our society...hey I like technology just as much as the next guy, but I will never trample over someone to get it...I mean....we did fine without it for thousands of years right??

      black friday has the capacity to turn us into animals...and maybe pj's and a hunting knife might just make us remember that the i-pad is not the end all be all of christmas, although you may debate that

      November 26, 2010 at 8:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • CWBarrett

      Come on Paul, the way it's making us act on Black Friday? Technology isn't the problem here, it's people. It's always been this way since the old days, hell that's why thievery has been thriving for centuries. A thief will always debase themselves to get things they cannot afford, or a murderer or any other fiend. People have always been willing to debase themselves or use others to get ahead. Even through legal means such as black balling others within a corporation. Values and persona are by and far the most aspects when it comes to people because without good ones, people will regress to this behavior regardless of whether or not it's black friday, or time for a promotion at work.

      November 26, 2010 at 8:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • auguron

      And it's the disgusting behavior of people that make online shopping much more pleasurable.

      November 27, 2010 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |
  2. CWBarrett

    See I don't have to worry about this because luckily I'm not poor.

    November 26, 2010 at 8:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jason

      Sure it is. Give Give Give, always have to have the new cell phone, or new toy! My parents never went through this kind of crap, they bought what they could afford for us kids! In the end it made us better individuals in life! Having the "It" thing at any time is not what's Important in life, and that is where we have lost our ways.

      November 26, 2010 at 8:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • hellae

      same here...except I got money by stealing from people. Not proud of it, but it provides for things. How did you get rich?

      November 26, 2010 at 8:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • CWBarrett

      By going to law school.

      November 26, 2010 at 8:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • hellae

      wow you're worse than me. You get rich by LYING? At least I admit I rob them and feel bad about it.

      November 26, 2010 at 8:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • me

      Oh, so you're both theves!

      November 26, 2010 at 9:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • hellae

      DUH!!!! I already announced earlier. So slow...still working off that tryptophan?

      November 26, 2010 at 9:13 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Lean6

    Why allow yourselves to be herded in this way in the first place? I buy what I can afford to buy sitting right where I'm sitting right now. If the businesses want my my money, they KNOW where to find me. As it stands right now, they know where to find a few idiots standing outside of their doors when they open it on Black Friday.

    November 26, 2010 at 8:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • hellae

      where ARE you?

      November 26, 2010 at 8:40 pm | Report abuse |
  4. deanna

    When will people learn there is nothing worth injury or arrest if they don't have what you want then sorry but not the end of the world now is it if I can't get something for my kids that they wanted for Christmas then they wait untill their birthday or next year that simple another thing Christmas is not about shopping any way get your priorities in order folks

    November 26, 2010 at 8:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • hellae

      I tried to read your sentence, but couldn't finish because i'm out of breath. Please put commas and periods next time. Just because you are anonymous online doesn't mean you should write like an idiot

      November 26, 2010 at 8:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kay

      Wow @hellae is right! Do you not know how to add commas and periods to your sentences? Your post was pretty much unreadable...unless you think your words are so important we should all work hard at figuring out what the heck you're trying to say.

      Oh...if you're posting from your cell phone? Have a 14 year old show you how to insert those commas and periods 🙂

      November 28, 2010 at 12:29 am | Report abuse |
  5. Alexa

    People never learn do they? Same thing every year. How stupid.

    November 26, 2010 at 8:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • hellae

      how can you fault consistency?

      November 26, 2010 at 8:34 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Astrid Torchon

    Here's some drama that went down on Black Friday...

    November 26, 2010 at 8:13 pm | Report abuse |
  7. kuuipo

    I am glad i stayed home with the kids & ate left overs & watched DVD's i purchased a couple of days ago from a pawnshop where everything was more than half price! i am not into crowds especially standing in long lines! i have no patience & a bad temper so knowing that i just decided not to go out shopping on black friday no thank you!

    November 26, 2010 at 8:14 pm | Report abuse |
  8. fx61

    Baa, meh, baa, meh, baa, meh...

    November 26, 2010 at 8:14 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Joe

    These are the people that skip rent/mortgage payments to buy the junk that is on sale. The electronics in the car were worth more than the car. Grats on having a unsuccessful life.

    November 26, 2010 at 8:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • cliff

      Joe, you state this as fact.
      Are you a former employee of MISS CLEO?
      YOU need to get a life and quit playing your ego game!

      November 26, 2010 at 8:32 pm | Report abuse |
  10. JWB

    Wow!! I am beyond glad that I don't participate in this madness.!! Some people are CRAZY! all for material possessions. Take a step back, take a deep breath and try to realize that there is much more in this world besides getting the latest tech piece for your kids. Great Holidays start and end with FAMILY and friends!! not gifts!

    November 26, 2010 at 8:15 pm | Report abuse |
  11. richard

    STUPID!!!!! people

    November 26, 2010 at 8:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • hellae

      hmmm...i wouldn't call people that especially when those exclaimation marks should be placed after "people"...not between "stupid" and "people"

      November 26, 2010 at 8:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • CheleViajero

      No one defending greedy, repugnant, and stupid people lining up to get a good deal on a TV is in a position to pass judgement on somebody else's minor grammatical errors. The greater error is in your thinking.

      November 26, 2010 at 8:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • hellae

      that's true...but at least I don't find it satisfying calling people stupid and other names...but I guess we have different standards. Thanks for being defensive when someone's grammatical error is being pointed out...but maybe you should save your sympathy for those who you call a stupid over the internet. Next time say it to those people in their face and see how defensive they get

      November 26, 2010 at 9:09 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Quay

    Hey all the bull that been happenin is whack. the tow services is no good i would have went in on the person who towed my car when i got there. Tmobile is too expensive anyway they werent gettin too much sales.

    November 26, 2010 at 8:16 pm | Report abuse |
  13. jason

    I laugh every year at idiots like this, trample each other for non-essential goods. It just goes to show what our society has become. In addition, to those that got their cars towed, just refuse to pay the towing charge, unless it was towed against city ordinance or fire code, you do not have to pay and they must release your car or call the police. Problem solved.

    November 26, 2010 at 8:16 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Frank Mallalley

    The "type" of person who would engage in this kind of madness has to expect that anything might happen to them. Obviously there is no hope for this type of person. They all got what they deserved. It has nothing to do with saving money because you can't afford gifts for the holidays, this is just trashy greed. My family isn't rich, but we can afford gifts for each other. That being said, there have been many holidays when we don't buy gifts for each other, and just spent the day together or make a modest donation to charity. I'm not claiming to be a "saint", but I also didn't get trampled, threatened, or had my car towed today in the name of the holidays. This is just pure natural selection.

    November 26, 2010 at 8:17 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Rudy

    They don't call it Black Friday for nothing...

    November 26, 2010 at 8:17 pm | Report abuse |
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