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. Risto

    Man, most of you people commenting are a waste of air. First off, all you self-righteous morons who claim you're too good to save money and buy something that's on sale are lying about how great you are.

    Apparently you were never a child and you never wanted anything (BS). Parents are badgered all season and pry to find out what would make their kid happy. If it's something that's expensive and normally out of your price range, of course you'd jump at the chance to get it at a more affordable price. Just because people want to make their kids happy doesn't mean they are a waste of life.

    On the other hand, the people who camp out for 2 days to get themselves a new tv for 200 dollars off are. In the 48 hours you wasted outside you could have been working and made more than you saved, plus you skipped out on family on thanksgiving to camp in a line. You fail.

    For the record, I'm 22. I went to Best Buy 15 minutes before it opened, they were handing out maps of the store and explaining how to buy the tv's (you get in a line and request a ticket for that tv). We were near the back of the line, which was at the back of the building. When we got in we walked right over and were the first ones in the tv line, and soon after came a few people who we saw at the front of the line in tents. They were emptyhanded and said they came for the cheap tv's.

    People are stupid.

    I had a lot of fun. Me and my friends (we are 4 22 year old guys) went store hopping and got some cool deals, like a free kinect game at old navy which I returned to Walmart for 54 dollars in store credit. I ended up returning what I bought at old navy today, so I ended up spending 0 dollars and I got a few Blu Rays at walmart for 5 dollars each and have about 35 dollars left that I plan on using for food.

    That being said, it's not always just parents buying things, sometimes it's just that "new generation which is doomed", yet infinitely more intelligent and resourceful than you.

    November 27, 2010 at 8:14 am | Report abuse |
    • y2daddy

      So you got something at Old Navy and then ripped off Walmart by returning it there? Moron.

      November 27, 2010 at 8:26 am | Report abuse |
    • Hugh Man

      RIGHT ON!! While I agree that people should really be more considerate and NOT trample one another, I also agree, strongly, that people should'nt judge people so harshly! MOST of the time, they are guilty of the same behavior at one time or another! How about compassion, empathy, love instead of hate and judgement and ire! I don't know ANYONE that LIKES being judged! CHILL OUT POEPLE! and Happy Holidays ya nuckleheads! :o)

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

      Wow, 22-year-old. Thanks for enlightening the rest of us about how to shop. How did we not understand it before?

      Let me just make sure I've got it straight: Those of us who choose to stay home and not get trampled, elbowed, or pushed aside for a stupid video game are morons who don't understand what it is to sacrifice to make our kids happy.

      Then again, those who camp out to get these great deal are also morons.

      The only non-morons are you and your friends, who think nothing of getting an item for free at one store and returning it to another store. That's not stealing - that's smart, I guess.

      As far as making kids happy, if you think the only way to do that is to fight off crowds getting some material object that they probably don't need and won't care about two hours after they open the box, you're completely clueless. Did you learn nothing from this country's economic crisis? The fact that this country is in serious debt because our spending habits outrun our production? Just buy, buy, buy - it's the American way, and the message we should send to our kids. Let's not do anything moronic, such as attempt to teach our kids more important lessons about family, giving, and spending time together.

      November 27, 2010 at 8:44 am | Report abuse |
    • edward

      @risto – at the risk of stereotyping or sounding elitist, i would say that people who camp out for hours to get a $200 HDTV would not make money they saved on the sale back if they spent their time working. Odds are great those that camped and trampled for it are low hourly wage clock punchers..that is if they even have a 'job' at all. for all we know, they saved their child support, alimony checks, and skipped on the cable bill just to save it up. Sure i'd grab a TV for that price, but I'm not camping out in the cold for it. I don't need a TV that badly. i make enough money to buy it at regular price without having to stand in a line for 10 hours. That goes for all their silly 'sales'. my time is far more valuable than that.

      November 27, 2010 at 9:02 am | Report abuse |
    • ross

      you sound like a moron. future welfare dependent, and smug about it.

      November 27, 2010 at 9:54 am | Report abuse |
    • tapu

      Aren't you just full of yourself?

      November 27, 2010 at 9:55 am | Report abuse |
    • SKR

      Two things:

      Risto, you're a jerk. Getting an item for free at one store and then "returning" it to another store for store credit is fraud. You think you're clever, but keep that nonsense up and you'll end up doing jail time at some point. Ripping people off is not cool.

      Those women who had $1000 worth of merchandise stolen from their car were foolish. Thieves case parking lots on heavy shopping days, just waiting for someone to leave bags of stuff in their cars and then go back into the store. If you buy a lot of stuff, take it HOME. You can go back out later, when your purchases are safe in your house. Thieves love this time of year because people get lax in their thinking. It's easy pickings.

      November 27, 2010 at 10:14 am | Report abuse |
    • scroo yoo

      So what if you get something at one store and return it at another? Sure its technically stealing,but corporations have been stealing from us for ages. Who do I owe? As long as you arent stealing from a person big deal.Ultimately this is the problem with capitalism.

      Big deal,its not like they made a ton of money from it,and they didnt steal it, no one is going to get arrested for returning an item to one store from another unless you overdo it.BFD

      November 27, 2010 at 10:29 am | Report abuse |
    • merope

      Congratulations. You are both the embodiment of the selfishness and complacency of the USA and and the true nature of the human race. All proven by the fact that you don't even see these truths.

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

      Risto, you are 100% grade A idiot. You have absolutely no idea of the consequences of fraud. You do not represent the younger generation.

      November 27, 2010 at 10:55 am | Report abuse |
    • jenn

      @ Harrysac ha ha ha, or maybe on his mom's chin!!!!

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

      Want to know what the best way to save money is, genius? DON'T BUY CRAP YOU DON'T NEED.

      Pardon my stupidity, but what little free time I have is worth more to me than a handful of discounts. Hence, I do whatever I can to avoid lines.

      Furthermore, I always operate under the assumption that the asteroid could strike at any moment, and I'll be AMNED-day if my carbonized corpse will lie for eternity amongst those of cretins.

      November 27, 2010 at 11:03 am | Report abuse |
    • Steven Posey

      Risto...thats genious....the rest of you...how can you consider stealing from walmart "wrong"

      November 27, 2010 at 12:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • SKR

      Steven Posey, what part of the wrongness of "stealing" do you not understand? Or do you think stealing is OK if it's from a large corporation? Nice...

      Although technically, it's fraud, not stealing. Stealing would be if the jerk put the Kinect under his jacket and walked off with it. What he did was take a free gift from one store, then took it to another store and "returned" it, receiving store credit he did not deserve. Obviously he has lousy parents who didn't teach him right from wrong. Or maybe he's a punk who enjoys committing crimes. Either way, he's a jerk.

      November 27, 2010 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • ME

      When I was a kid and whined for the latest toys, my parents usually either ignored me or got the generic version. As a child, it annoyed me, but as an adult I am grateful. I am glad I didn't grow up to be a materialistic, trend following idiot who chases every short lived fad then forgets a week later.

      November 28, 2010 at 7:50 am | Report abuse |
  2. TC

    I'm Black but today I am going to stick up for "White Trash". Why? Because they are poor and lack the "material goods" that other people in posh cities and towns take for granted. Have you been to West Virginia or rural PA? Life is not easy at all. No Jobs. No Hope. Try raising children with no steady income stream. Sometimes these sales mean a great deal to people in need. Yes, if you already have a microwave, flat screen TV or heater, you may not get it. While we can spew out supercilious comments from a comfortable middle-class existence, has anyone done anything lately to ameliorate the condition of others or is it easier just to mock and criticize a fellow human because of low socio-economic status, lack of education, race, and gender? That's all people seem to enjoy doing around here lately and it is disturbing.

    November 27, 2010 at 8:33 am | Report abuse |
    • Hugh Man

      bump! support that! and Happy Holidays my fellow Hugh Man! :o)

      November 27, 2010 at 8:44 am | Report abuse |
    • edward

      @TC – I agree to a point. it's tough for some people out there. but i find it hard to sympathize with people who are given a rough hand in life and have little money but then they go spend what little they have on a flat-screen TV. priorities? I'd be more inclined to help and feel sympathetic if instead, they took that $300 and bought a computer to take on-line classes, or saved it to move to a better area with more jobs. Someone in poverty should be thinking 4 moves ahead with the money in hand and make wiser purchases than a discount TV that will probably break in under 2 years. an HDTV is a STUPID purchase if you can barley afford to keep the lights on.

      November 27, 2010 at 9:09 am | Report abuse |
    • ilovewestinghousetvs

      id say the ridicule ultimately goes back from businesses and media that hold these sales and post these type of articles. while you make interesting points in their defense i must take the high road and say that a majority of them are foolish shoppers and are doing exaclty what was intended by the businesses – to buy cheap items for a cheap price.

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

      TC i appreciate your empathy but one of the reasons these people are poor is because of poor economic planning. i came from a family of professionals and we had all our material needs met and more, but my parents never engaged in luxuries like nice cars, televisions, or furniture. admittedly my father has now purchased a flat screen tv, but of reasonable size.

      a cheap microwave can be had for very little money-a matter of a day worked at minimum wage. people need to learn how to handle their money, whether in school, or from their parents, or just by sitting down on their own and using some common sense.

      November 27, 2010 at 9:58 am | Report abuse |
    • merope

      Thanks for the truth–few people seem to get it.

      November 27, 2010 at 10:38 am | Report abuse |
    • WVGirl

      Well, thank you so much for generalizing and stereotyping the entire state of WV. Some people live in poverty, and some do not. You need to at least clarify your position by stating "parts of WV" as you did with parts of PA.

      November 27, 2010 at 11:47 am | Report abuse |
    • ME

      There are two types of poor people: Frugal, intelligent people who live within their means and budget wisely, thus enjoying an overall decent life or idiots who live in squalor then waste big bucks on a TV or a video game system. I respect the former but despise the latter. The people who camp out for Black Friday "deals" are the latter because they are still spending money they really can't afford to spend. In fact, such idiotic behavior is pretty much the reason they are poor. The intelligent poor people usually end up with nicer lives because they have their priorities straight.

      November 28, 2010 at 7:55 am | Report abuse |
  3. Mitch

    Am I the only one who will admit I love Black Friday? Got to the mall at 0300 to collect the free ornaments at JCPenney, then wandered through that a some other stores. Zipped over to a couple of other stores on my list, then breakfast around 0630 and on to a couple more. Gotta say Target was a disappointment, though. No real sales or specials. I wasn't looking for anything special, found some great bargains at several places, and was back home with a cup of hot chocolate by noon. No problems with crowds or rude, unruly shoppers. Have never encountered the things I read in this article. I guess I shop around considerate, mature people. Or, they were all about as awake as I was! Been doing this for 20+ years and still have fun doing Black Friday with my family.

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

      I agree. I love black Friday and have never had any of these bad experiences. I have been going out with my parents since i was little. It has become more of a tradition then a need to shop for deals. The past 2 years we didn't go out for any particular items but just tradition and it kind of puts me in the holiday spirit. Nothing like shopping with family and then going to breakfast.

      November 27, 2010 at 9:15 am | Report abuse |
    • Rocky

      You know something? I have to admit that I've always been tempted to go out on Black Friday, but much to my dismay, I have never had the day off. I have always had to work on Black Friday.

      November 28, 2010 at 11:41 am | Report abuse |
  4. cklutch

    You're all over analyzing this. The items people go for are extremely cheap. I would never go, but I'm not about to sit here and say they deserved it because they want to save a couple hundred dollars. You're worse than they ever will be saying they deserved to get trampled, towed, or robbed. Take a look in the mirror, you're the one that has the issues.

    November 27, 2010 at 8:45 am | Report abuse |
  5. Kw1980

    A Marine Reservist was stabbed in Augusta, GA while helping capture a shoplifter who pulled a knife after being seen with a laptop under his shirt. The Marine, who was helping with Toys For Tots, is fine. The suspect was captured shortly afterwards.

    November 27, 2010 at 8:50 am | Report abuse |
    • auguron

      Good on the Marine that helped. It's nice to see that some people can be human during the holidays.

      November 27, 2010 at 11:29 am | Report abuse |
    • Not worth it

      Why would the Marine Reservist put his life on the line to apprehend somebody who is stealing a laptop? That is not worth it.

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

    Exactly how much does a person need to spend in order to get the Christmas spirit?

    November 27, 2010 at 8:50 am | Report abuse |
  7. T.M.S.

    Fools!! I don't want to hear anyone of you complain of having no money this summer for you trip to Disney Land!

    November 27, 2010 at 8:53 am | Report abuse |
  8. joe

    the practice of allowing the store to carry just a few items at a low low price show be outlawed.. people are going to get killed.

    November 27, 2010 at 8:57 am | Report abuse |
    • skydiver92103

      Chill, Joe. It's just NATURAL SELECTION, hard at work. It's too crowded here.

      November 27, 2010 at 10:19 am | Report abuse |
  9. CTChris

    First - to those people who got towed... If you don't have at least a few hundred bucks saved up in some kind of rainy day fund, then you probably shouldn't be breaking the back on Black Friday either. Instead of getting the Playstation 3 or whatever toys and gadgets are en vogue, how about teaching your children the real meaning of Christmas.

    And Second - I have "done" Black Friday once in my life and that was one time too many. Though, I must say the way people act is truly (and unfortunately) quite representative of American Culture: We want lots of good and services but we don't want to pay too much for it and are willing to go to whatever lengths, including trampling people (or other countries) to death in order to get our way. And of course, damned be the person who tries to cut in line and take what is ours (like illegal immigrants) withing paying their dues.

    November 27, 2010 at 8:57 am | Report abuse |
    • Doogie

      So much analogy win in your post that it borders on enlightening. 🙂

      November 27, 2010 at 10:07 am | Report abuse |
  10. ilovewestinghousetvs

    id say a majority of these people lining up are highly uneducated as shoppers. if you are lining up for days to buy westinghouse and GE tvs...and nailing that $299 projection tv to a wall dont make a flatscreen.

    November 27, 2010 at 9:00 am | Report abuse |
  11. Pwr7549

    My wife and her father went to Toy'R'Us store at 10 pm and it would take them 2-3 hours during in the line to get in to the store. It will be closed at 1am. They gave up with that line. They went to her father home and ordered Christmas items throughout it's online. They realized that at the store and online store offer the same price with 50% off. They only paid the shipping fee which is very small. That would trade off for that! Why we have to be in a very long line while we are miserable with this cold freezing and windy temperature and raining outside.. It was nasty wheater condition . Ordering through online at home is more rational ways to do...

    November 27, 2010 at 9:04 am | Report abuse |
    • auguron

      Online shopping is clearly superior. No dealing with troglodytes.

      November 27, 2010 at 11:00 am | Report abuse |
  12. Lee

    Trash. Pure trash!

    November 27, 2010 at 9:05 am | Report abuse |
  13. Jenn

    Merry Christmas, America!!!!!!!

    November 27, 2010 at 9:06 am | Report abuse |
  14. Marc L from NY

    Yup, this Country sure is heading in the right direction.

    November 27, 2010 at 9:07 am | Report abuse |
  15. Risto

    Eh. My comment was more toward all the people who say that when they were younger they were happy to get what they got for Christmas, everyone remembers themselves as better than they were. Personally, I buy nearly everything online. Amazon had pretty much the same prices for everything and you don't have to deal with people.

    As far as me being clueless about the attention span of children, you'd probably have no idea what's in my head, so I suppose it's safe to make an assumption based on my age. If I were to wait in line for something for someone for hours I'd probably just be happy to give that to someone, I enjoy giving people presents..

    And me and my friends – one of them bought a 700 dollar tv and they all bought a ton of clothes.. None of them needed any of it though. The fun part was the social experience.

    And please. The item was free to the first hundred people. Apparently if you get something for free and buy some shirts that you ended up not fitting well in.. And then returning said shirts, that means you stole them? If you're worried about Walmart, give me a break. I'm not saying I'm great, I'm just saying people spending money on things they don't need is foolish, and I completely agree with you on the economy comment. Though for a kid who just got out of college, Black friday is appealing just because there are things I need to buy anyways. Hence walmart food. Happy holidays!

    November 27, 2010 at 9:07 am | Report abuse |
    • Risto is a moron

      Risto,

      You have no values, you made that clear.

      Thank you for not saying that your are great. By doing so you would have offended everyone reading your ignornat and uneducated posts. Please rething your life. Do not steal.

      November 27, 2010 at 10:11 am | Report abuse |
    • costesso

      I have a perfect idea what's in your head, NOTHING. You admitted to fraud, dude. Just retire now before you further disgrace yourself. And quit saying you speak for all of us youth!

      November 27, 2010 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
    • ...and I

      My friends and I, not me and my friends. You've used this several times.

      November 27, 2010 at 11:52 am | Report abuse |
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