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. Funny

    All you pagans running around boosting last quarter sales trying to kill each other just to get the latest "Cabbage Patch Doll"....Hilarious...The people in the story have no common sense and deserve the Homer J. Simpson , "DOH!" award..

    November 27, 2010 at 7:12 am | Report abuse |
    • Matilda

      Obviously you know no real pagans, as I am and all my pagan family WOULD NEVER participate in a consumerist greed driven day like black friday.

      November 27, 2010 at 7:55 am | Report abuse |
    • bobby22

      Cabbage Patch dolls?? Yeah, THAT'S what people were flocking to Walmart and Best Buy for...

      November 27, 2010 at 8:29 am | Report abuse |
    • Zach

      I'm with Matilda on this. You shouldn't insult Pagans so much.

      November 27, 2010 at 8:53 am | Report abuse |
    • hhart

      actually, all the true pagans were at home shaking our heads at the absolute idiocy of the rest of you. It isn't the pagans running to grab the plastic toys made in China, I assure you. Take a poll. Most of you are are pretending to believe in your God.

      November 27, 2010 at 9:17 am | Report abuse |
    • Green Tara

      This practicing Pagan would not be caught dead participating in the annual ritual of greed, stupidity, & financial irresponsibility known as Black Friday. The fact that anyone still claims your "Christmas" holiday is about anything spiritual is a joke. Christians can call me a heathen for finding divinity in nature and Mother Earth, but it's clear to me who REALLY worships false idols now.

      November 27, 2010 at 9:49 am | Report abuse |
    • auguron

      One thing I have yet to learn is why do Christians always attempt to shift the blame to pagans (or any religion different from them for that matter). Can anyone please explain this?

      November 27, 2010 at 10:26 am | Report abuse |
    • AmericanSam

      It's a pretty insensitive notion that pagans are the ones out shopping on Black Friday. Almost all Americans are Christian.

      November 27, 2010 at 11:34 am | Report abuse |
    • Confused

      Really? I find it interesting that everyone states they would not participate in this "christian"activity or this " pagen" activity. It seems to me if you have a computer and you are taking the time to post you are already part of the commercialism that is a result of financially sound country. Just because you are not waiting in line to get the gifts does not make you more stable than those that did. People are greedy. Not just with money but with time and with arrogance. We tend to think we are better because we don't do this or that. Why are people so surprised and shocked when this occurs. Kudos to you for not going. I am sure the world is a better place because you stayed home. And please don't assume that I went because I posted this.

      November 27, 2010 at 11:56 am | Report abuse |
    • Rocky

      I am a druid. My ancestors took no part in the Crusades in which millions of innocents were slaughtered. We have no priests who molest innocent children. We have no popes who steal from the poor and live in palaces. We don't honor our gods by stampeding each other to death. No, I think that Christmas is most definitely symbolic of the Christian religion (though not Jesus who was a gentle, non-judgmental being). You're just doing unto others, as you were taught.

      November 28, 2010 at 11:33 am | Report abuse |
  2. wilson

    All for a holiday based on some dude who died on a cross a couple of thousand years ago. It's ALL rather stupid and appalling behavior for civilized people.

    And by the way, the women who got their stuff stolen out of their cars are idiots.

    November 27, 2010 at 7:14 am | Report abuse |
    • Treegeek

      Right on, camp in a parking lot for two days just to have the bullsheet stolen, priceless!

      November 27, 2010 at 8:13 am | Report abuse |
    • Hugh Man

      Don't judge people too harshly dude. . . . there just ordinary average people, so what. So there purchasing power is less than yours, so what? Chill!

      November 27, 2010 at 8:34 am | Report abuse |
    • OMG

      Black Friday and its extreme shopping is commercialism, and for those who believe in Santa. Christmas, on the other hand, is for Christians who believe in Jesus Christ. The ironic part is people who would rather knock eachother down, and steal from eachother, just to see there own childrens smiling faces on Christmas morning. No wonder why this world is going to Hell.

      November 27, 2010 at 9:16 am | Report abuse |
    • Evangelicide

      Huh? You're kidding, right?
      The holiday was THANKSGIVING, not Christmas.

      November 27, 2010 at 10:56 am | Report abuse |
    • Rowan

      I'm curious to know is there was really a sign stating, "This parking lot is for T-Mobile customers only" In the city I live in, not only does their have to be a sign clearly stating that, but the sign also has to include the code violation, "under article blah blah blah..your car can be towed. The fine is $300. To retrieve your vehicle call 1-800-BAD-LUCK." My husband had a similar problem when he parked in what he thought was a lot that was part of a restaurant's parking lot. When he came out, the car was gone. He called the police to report it stolen and when they got there a man drove up (he is called a spotter) and told my husband and the police officer it was towed. In the police report it stated there were no signs alerting anyone to the fact one could not park there or their car would be towed. Because of that we sued the owner of the lot, who hired this spotter and his company and we won.

      November 27, 2010 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
    • kiclay

      Just a little history lesson, December 25th is a pagan holiday. If you want to strictly follow the bible Jesus was born in the spring, probably sometime in April. OMG, Christians for the most part did not formally celebrate Christmas until about the mid 19th century. Christmas as we know it has been so called commercial since the first images of Santa Clause appeared in the mid 19th century. The first department store Santa appeared sometime after the civil war so unless you are about 150 years old you cannot remember a time when this holiday was about going to church and celebrating the birth of Christ even though he wasn't born on December 25th.

      November 27, 2010 at 11:13 am | Report abuse |
    • MFJO

      How are they idiots. Didn't it say in the video that the car was torn apart. They didn't leave it unlocked the thieves broke into it.

      November 27, 2010 at 11:35 am | Report abuse |
    • ronald mcloughlin

      Not idiots just shopaholics or drug-absent materialists.

      November 27, 2010 at 11:38 am | Report abuse |
  3. Mike

    First question. How does a retailer know that a car he is having towed is not in fact one of his own customers? Second. Is it worth $300 for a retailer to now in all likelihood, lose a potential customer combined with all this negative publicity (t-mobile)?

    November 27, 2010 at 7:19 am | Report abuse |
    • scotty501

      THEY KNEW BECAUSE THE T MOBILE STORE WAS NOT OPEN YET!

      November 27, 2010 at 7:31 am | Report abuse |
    • dave

      It was real easy for the T-mobile store to find out it wasn't their customers. They only have 10 customers because of publicity and customer service like this. Once they realized that none of their 10 customers were there they just had the offending cars removed... duh... 🙂

      November 27, 2010 at 8:38 am | Report abuse |
    • Wow

      Based on the fact that the article mentions a sign posted for BullDog Towing, T-Mobile likely has a towing contract with them that states unauthorized parking hours. That's all the tow company needs. T-Mobile doesn't even need to pick up the phone.

      Black Friday is Christmas for Tow companies – they all routine patrol their contracts so they can move as many cars as possible – it's easy income.

      November 27, 2010 at 10:39 am | Report abuse |
    • Zamiel Crow

      Yeah...

      Dear T-Mobile,

      That was really great for public relations... Towing people's cars on Black Friday and forcing them to give up their Christmas presents for children in order to pay some towing company's overblown fees. AWESOME customer relations, there, T-Mobile. Maybe you could smash their windows or kick their children while you're at it. I'm sure that getting INTERNATIONAL NEWS COVERAGE of your store screwing people over and ruining their Christmas (when you know damned well your store wouldn't get a load of customers on Black Friday, anyway) is going to win you LOTS of new customers. This is advertising that AT&T couldn't buy.

      BONE HEADS.

      Black Friday is stupid, but you should know better than to put your name in the news in a negative light during the holiday season. With this one incident, you probably lost a ton of potential customers. SMOOTH MOVE, T-Mobile.

      November 27, 2010 at 10:40 am | Report abuse |
    • Abraham Lincoln

      If you dont have $350 to cover towing costs, then perhaps you shouldn't be wasting money on a Playstation 3. This is the reason that poor people remain poor.

      November 27, 2010 at 11:34 am | Report abuse |
    • ME

      It probably had more to do with the property management than it did T-Mobile. I seriously doubt the T-Mobile employees were sitting there after hours just for the sole purpose of towing people. Stores like this do not own their buildings, but rent from a property management company that owns the trip mall. Those property managers are the ones who deal with towing and parking lot issues–usually via a contract with the tow company that does the actual monitoring. If this press hurts T-Mobile, they will only lose the dumb people who don't know how property management works.

      November 28, 2010 at 7:44 am | Report abuse |
  4. colfud

    post a smily face if you saw that coming 🙂

    November 27, 2010 at 7:25 am | Report abuse |
  5. scotty501

    1. People that shop on Black Friday know in advance what they are signing up for.
    2. Christmas is a materialistic marketing JOKE
    3 The majority of the world does not celebrate Christmas
    4 Christ was not even born on Dec 25

    November 27, 2010 at 7:40 am | Report abuse |
    • Josh

      Assuming he existed in the first place.

      November 27, 2010 at 9:34 am | Report abuse |
    • One Dollar!

      1. Yes.
      2. The consumerism promoted for Christmas is the materialistic marketing joke. Christmas in itself is not a joke.
      3. Christians all over the world celebrate Christmas .
      4. True, but Dec. 25 wasn't picked randomly. Do a little research so you won't have to spread half-truths.

      @Josh: There are lots of extra-biblical references to Jesus. Jesus is a historical fact.

      November 27, 2010 at 9:59 am | Report abuse |
    • the truth

      you people are ridiculous just plain ignorant

      November 27, 2010 at 10:01 am | Report abuse |
    • Jers

      Historians are pretty unanimous in accepting Jesus' baptism by John as a historical event, suggesting that the folks who are most in the know about surviving evidence acknowledge that a man named Jesus did in fact live, did begin to teach around the age of 30, and was executed by the Romans. Outside of that, it's all speculation, argument, and faith.

      November 27, 2010 at 10:17 am | Report abuse |
    • No

      The majority does not celebrate Christmas, but very many in other countries do.

      Our version of Christmas has become far more American than Christian though. What's more American than spending more than you can afford on things no one but you cares about?

      November 27, 2010 at 10:22 am | Report abuse |
    • auguron

      Of course it wasn't picked randomly. It was stolen from those pagans you hate so much, like every other Christian holiday.

      November 27, 2010 at 10:30 am | Report abuse |
    • Canadian Friend

      Amen!!

      November 27, 2010 at 10:57 am | Report abuse |
    • SarahLV

      @OneDollar! – To be honest, Christmas HAS become a joke. It's become a yearly marketing ploy because no one steps forth to talk about what is really important to the Christians when it comes to Christmas itself. Everyone I know who celebrates Christmas does so for the family time and the gifts. Then, instead of stepping up and saying that it isn't a holiday of consumerism, but the holiest day of the year to Christians the world over, the conservative politicians and Fox News whine about the "War On Christmas".

      Oh, and you're quite right. December 25th was very much a calculated thought and decision. It was meant to take attention away from the Pagan holiday of Yule, which was the church's way of pushing their agenda onto everyone else.

      If you and other Christians want to be taken seriously about your "peace on Earth, good will towards men" BS, you'll stop doing hateful things in the name of your god. You'll put out there that Christmas is for giving food and shelter to those who cannot afford it, rather than giving gifts to your spoiled children, friends and family members. I've never seen a holiday that is so steeped in selfish acts and beliefs, and it just gets worse every year. So please, for the rest of the world's majority (and no, Christians do NOT make up the majority of the world in regards to religion) that does not only celebrate Christmas, but look upon Americans as being selfish and stupid, stop being so hypocritical!

      November 27, 2010 at 11:01 am | Report abuse |
    • auguron

      That would be asking the impossible Sarah.

      November 27, 2010 at 11:27 am | Report abuse |
    • ronald mcloughlin

      Jesus was born on "Dec 25." It was the Greeks who "christened" him Christ, which in Greek means "anointed one" which is the meaning of Messiah in Hebrew. Actually, the Greeks scored a double-play when they created that joke. They destroyed all the Greek gods and eventually the Roman Empire, which was not throwing the X-ians to the lions because they were tastier than the non-Xians.

      November 27, 2010 at 11:44 am | Report abuse |
    • ME

      Don't be ignorant Josh. Even if you dispute Christ's divinity, there is no historical doubt that he existed. There are plenty of non-Christian contemporary historical sources that refer to him and his effect on the public.

      November 28, 2010 at 7:45 am | Report abuse |
    • Rocky

      The date of Dec. 25 was chosen to coincide and overshadow the festival of Yule, an ancient Celtic/Druidic feast. Santa, whose plastic likeness holds a place of honor right next to infant Jesus on lawns across the country, is the Arch Druid, and he holds mistletoe and holly, both sacred plants. Though The Church has attempted to supplant the ancient festivals, they can't quite seem to keep us pesky druids out of the mix.

      November 28, 2010 at 11:37 am | Report abuse |
  6. MaryO

    I wonder how many of these people would call themselves "Good Christians".

    November 27, 2010 at 7:44 am | Report abuse |
    • One Dollar!

      I wonder if you're just trying to start something.

      November 27, 2010 at 10:01 am | Report abuse |
    • auguron

      You have to admit that Mary has a point though.

      November 27, 2010 at 10:39 am | Report abuse |
    • ME

      No real Christian should be so greedy and materialistic as the people portrayed in this article.

      November 28, 2010 at 7:47 am | Report abuse |
    • Rocky

      That is generally known as an oxymoron. Those who are good Christians don't have to talk about it.

      November 28, 2010 at 11:38 am | Report abuse |
  7. Harold Whinery

    It is hard to believe that people put themselves through this just to shop.

    November 27, 2010 at 7:48 am | Report abuse |
  8. redletterday26

    What a bunch of ignorant fools...grow up.

    November 27, 2010 at 7:51 am | Report abuse |
  9. Hammer

    Gd daakies

    November 27, 2010 at 7:58 am | Report abuse |
  10. MJ

    Seriously?! People get a life! Go to daveramsey.com and buy his financial peace program. It will be the BEST gift you can give your family.

    November 27, 2010 at 7:59 am | Report abuse |
    • JT

      oh, i got that. total waste of money.

      November 27, 2010 at 8:14 am | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      I rather someone buy me a fruit cake. Would be more worthwhile.

      November 27, 2010 at 8:30 am | Report abuse |
    • Commonsense

      The Dave Ramsey program only works if you have a lot of disposable income you’re wasting on junk! Common sense tells you pay your bills first, don’t waste your money on things you don’t need and to put some away in savings. Buying a phony scheme like Ramsey’s is a waste of your money and just makes Dave rich!

      November 27, 2010 at 9:12 am | Report abuse |
    • ronald mcloughlin

      Please go to HULU and play George Carlin's hilarious STUFF. U'LL never even think of Black Friday again!

      November 27, 2010 at 11:49 am | Report abuse |
  11. pam

    There is not one item that is worth sleeping outdoors for, being trampled, pushed, shoved, cursed at,etc. Sleeping outdoors for electronics? I mean really people. Grow up.

    November 27, 2010 at 8:02 am | Report abuse |
  12. Joel

    So, Shereece Francis gave up Thanksgiving for Christmas, and lost?

    Double whammy.

    November 27, 2010 at 8:02 am | Report abuse |
    • Treegeek

      Nice! LOL

      November 27, 2010 at 8:15 am | Report abuse |
    • auguron

      *cue Price is Right horn*

      November 27, 2010 at 10:41 am | Report abuse |
  13. stan

    Is it me, or do the people who appear in these BLACK FRIDAY mobs appear to be white trash?

    November 27, 2010 at 8:04 am | Report abuse |
    • ross

      well, trash anyway...

      November 27, 2010 at 9:52 am | Report abuse |
    • ME

      They are all trash, but if you note, the names in this specific article are obviously black names.

      November 28, 2010 at 7:48 am | Report abuse |
  14. Jon S.

    Ah, yes, This is what the holiday is truly about – unbridled greed.

    November 27, 2010 at 8:06 am | Report abuse |
    • W. Street

      It's called 'trickle-down socio-nomics.'

      November 27, 2010 at 10:18 am | Report abuse |
  15. Aeromechanic.

    I don't understand the reasoning behind having early birid specials and the like. Instead of having a couple hundred if not thoudsands of people standing out in the cold(depending on your location) and fighting over merchandise, why not have a resaonble sale that lasts all day during normal business hours and give rainchecks out? The idea of cutting the price so drastically and having limited amounts that it entices people to fight over games, shoes or what have you is sick.

    November 27, 2010 at 8:11 am | Report abuse |
    • dave

      Corporate greed, human stupidity, people are sheep, the list goes on... pick one.

      November 27, 2010 at 8:40 am | Report abuse |
    • PJ

      Very well said.

      November 27, 2010 at 8:41 am | Report abuse |
    • stargirl

      These stores ask for this madness and then provide no security or organization around it. I had a good experience this year at Sam's Club, the ladies had tickets for the popular items and some guys maintained the entrances (probably b/c you have to show your membership card to get in though). My friend went to Wal-Mart and they gave out armbands for various big ticket items. It would take like an hour of planning to maintain the heard. What's the saying, any publicity is good publicity.

      November 27, 2010 at 10:36 am | Report abuse |
    • shannon

      Yeah what is sad is that they do have those sales again but idiots would rather stand in line for hours.

      And for the record my uber christian cousins, who supposedly believe materialism is a sin, were in those lines at 3am. Me, the atheist.....I was home in bed where I belong lol.

      November 27, 2010 at 11:54 am | Report abuse |
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