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. Lyn

    Ridiculous that people stood in line for two days for this insanity. Didn't they see the fine print? "Minimum of three per store" for the laptops at that weren't that hot of a deal anyway. Places like Walmart and Best Buy put a few items out at really good prices knowing the "hype" that surrounds it, they sell a select few at that price and that's it. How can three per store even be called an "event"? Also, is a savings of $100 seriously worth killing all day thanksgiving and T-giving night sitting in the cold and then risking violence, line jumping, being trampled and hurt or robbed? Would the same person take a job for that amount, thinking of what that works out per hour to? I did my BF shopping online this year – hit Old Navy at midnight online and Walmart at 3 am. Got an amazon lightening deal last night. I'm pretty happy; and pretty confident that the other presents I want to get will go on sale before Christmas. It's not like BF is "it" after all.

    November 27, 2010 at 12:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Maria

      I totally agree with you! I always go to Kohls at 3am when it opens but this year Kohls had the same deals online Thanksgiving day. I did all my shopping from there in an hour or so. I sat there in the comfort of my own home, in my pjs and browsed the online store. I don't understand how these parents who love their children will leave them on a holiday to go stand in line for a toy? My parents never went out to any toy store on black friday and they still managed to get us the "it" toys of the season or what my sister and I wanted. This is all silly! And this year the sales weren't that great. The prices will be better closer to Christmas.

      November 27, 2010 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lou

      "minimum 3 per store" does NOT mean that a store would have a MAXIMUM of 3. Some smaller stores may only get 3, but the major stores may get HUNDREDS. In the Walmart circular, they stated that there would be a MINIMUM of 2 $198 laptops per store, but the stores in my area had over 100 IN EACH STORE. Learn to read and research before making a stupid comment.

      November 27, 2010 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • kim

      Lou,
      It's nasty people and comments like you who make this a problem. How do you know if your store is one with just 2 or 200? Why would you stand in line not knowing.

      November 27, 2010 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lou

      Cry me a river, Kim. There's such a great invention called a telephone (or cell phone if you live in 2010) that you can use to contact the store to inquire how many of a particular item they have on hand. Most are happy to let you know and the ones that don't are the places to avoid altogether. The mind is a powerful tool...and sadly not everyone knows how to shop smart...yet they know how to complain.

      November 28, 2010 at 4:03 am | Report abuse |
  2. ronald mcloughlin

    Correction: For George Carlin's "Stuff" go to U Tube.

    November 27, 2010 at 12:15 pm | Report abuse |
  3. MurElly

    Christ wasn't born on Dec 25th, Rachel.. LoL.. That's just the date the catholics set it at.
    Anyway.. There are a few people who just join black friday for a thrill.. Like climbing Everest, or Rushian Roulette, I guess. But in general, the majority of these people are flippin looney. I hear too many parents freakin out about what they're wanting to get for their kids and it makes me feel so sorry for the kids. I adore my kids, I got their Christmas presents last week and I'm excited for them to get them coz I know they're going to love them.. But I didn't break the bank.. I just have kids who appreciate nice things rather than expecting to be able to just collect a bunch of nice things. Stop teaching your kids to be selfish brats please!

    November 27, 2010 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pat

      Rushian Roulette? I think you mean Russian. LoL.

      November 27, 2010 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • AmericanAnnie

      Catholics set it that way?? Ah no. They did not.

      There is a lot of debate regarding this issue but scholars have stated that the roman empire had a great deal to do with this and that possibly it had to do with the festival of the rebirth of the sun. Early Christians, not Catholics, according to scholars tried to coincide with the birth of Christ. But of course not without opposition. This is just one of the main theories on how the date came about. I doubt we will ever know for sure how the date came about but, the catholic church did not put the idea out and it suddenly has been that way for centuries. Secondly, if this were true, why do other christian denominations recognise the 25th as well?

      In any case, regardless of who created the idea of the 25th, the idea and meaning of Christmas was lost long ago. This article shows us that.

      November 27, 2010 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Flakes

      Christmas as celebrated on Dec. 25 was adopted by the Church (Catholic) around the 4th century. Check Wikipedia.

      November 27, 2010 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tallulah

      WIKIPEDIA, now there's an authoritative source for you!

      November 27, 2010 at 6:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • CDG

      LOL Tallulah...AmericanAnnie doesn't have her facts quite straight either.

      November 27, 2010 at 7:48 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Rocketman

    How cheap to give presents bought on discount ! If you have to buy at discount, perhaps you should not be purchasing items that cost so much.

    November 27, 2010 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • SophyB

      You are an idiot.

      November 27, 2010 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bugmenot

      Were you dropped on your head when you were born?

      November 27, 2010 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • tookalook22

      IDIOT!!!

      November 27, 2010 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tad Pole

      Perfect Troll. Well done.

      November 27, 2010 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Phil, Ohio

      Discount? Not really, the store still makes money!
      Better still, never pay retail!

      November 27, 2010 at 3:03 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Deb

    Peace on earth, good will toward men. Right.

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

      Peace on Earth, Goodwill to Men as long as they aren't about to purchase that laptop you've been camping for for three days- then it's cool to bonk them over the head with your purse, steal the laptop, and give it to your darling angel for christmas.

      *right..... * :/

      November 28, 2010 at 12:52 am | Report abuse |
  6. Drew

    Who cares what color, race or religion? These people are selfish jerks who only care about themselves. Odds are that if you're up in line in the middle of the morning you're a materialistic ass. Their first name is Lou, the last is Zerz.

    November 27, 2010 at 12:24 pm | Report abuse |
  7. sean

    Carrie J: "extra extra extra extra extra Caramel Frapachinos". that is so lamo.. u make my day!!!! (:

    November 27, 2010 at 12:26 pm | Report abuse |
  8. tom

    How about this folks. You have a news agency reporting negative news on a few individuals that had a tough day, its an imperfect world, and this article isn't helping it. How about the 100's of thousands that had a fab day, bolstered the struggling economy, how about the news helping instead of hindering during these tough times?

    November 27, 2010 at 12:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • sean_m

      Because it's clearly a problem when people act like animals to get to a sale. No one died this year that I'm aware of, which is fortunate.

      November 27, 2010 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Mapanther

    American Greed at it's best..... It comes in all shapes & colors.
    Hence why I stay home.

    November 27, 2010 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Joseph

    This is just disgusting, the effort that people went through to get items from there family. Then those were just taken away by thieves. That is disgusting. retailers should offer security for people that spend the time in line. As well as it can calm down people. If there was a security guard do you think that women said she will shoot anyone the cuts. would anyone have cut? If there was a security guards in the parking lots do you think that the amount of stealing still would have happened? Just a thought.

    November 27, 2010 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sarah

      I don't know about these specific stores but most stores do have security especially during the holidays. It's impossible for security to watch everyone at every second.

      November 27, 2010 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
  11. themoi

    Jesus called: He wants his religion back. Give Christmas back to the pagans. It was theirs first.

    November 27, 2010 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • AmericanAnnie

      Yes you are very right! I was just telling someone that the roman empire who were pagans came up with that idea!! They seem to think the catholic church came up with the idea..lol...

      November 27, 2010 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Mike

    Ugly and stupid. You can get just as good of a deal on the Net , in your jammies, with an eggnog ,and a nice fire going.

    November 27, 2010 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse |
  13. bunny

    I work at a store in Nashville and our customers were AMAZING, as they are every year. We went out to say hello before the store opened and to give out coupons for the limited items so the people that were first could get what they wanted. Even the people who were too far back in line to get the deal they wanted were in great spirits and were smiling and laughing. Throughout the day our customers were wonderful and considerate. I can count on one hand the people who were unpleasant. That being said,we were also open on Thanksgiving day- PLEASE DON'T GO OUT SHOPPING ON THANKSGIVING DAY ANYMORE! A lot of stores (ours) were open for the first time and it ruins a lot of people's day. You wouldn't want to be working on Thanksgiving. I think if a place doesn't sell food or medicine, it should let it's employees have the day off. Same for Christmas. We are open on Easter so Thanksgiving and Christmas were the only holidays we could be home with family. If you go to these stores and spend money they will do it again the next year with longer hours. Please keep Thanksgiving and Christmas safe for retail workers- some of us have to work retail because of our obligations. If you have family members who work the holiday, you understand. I think everyone should have to work retail at Christmas time- Long hours, a ridiculous schedule, and unbelievable stress. Be considerate and STAY HOME on a holiday, no matter what kind of a deal they offer. It isn't worth it. THANK YOU!

    November 27, 2010 at 12:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • annab

      People in Nashville are awesome in general. What a happy place!

      November 27, 2010 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Harry Balsak

    When will people wake up and realize they have been brainwashed into sheep. Shopping like jackals without really asking...."why"? Nobody having the guts to stand up say "THIS IS CRAZY". How many gifts are you buying because you "have to" instead of "want to"? Is this what Christmas has become? Getting a good deal on a big screen TV for YOURSELF? Retailers and credit card companies will never try to wake you up, SHEEP = PROFIT. A sarcastic outlook for sure, but a sane outlook as well. Where is the sanity in exchanging CRAP! Talk to your friends and family about the whole "gift giving thing". You'll find out there is an overwhelming opinion of "Christams is for kids". Only the greediest of adults will fight it. Gifts until you're 18 will eventually take hold. Rampant consumerism can't disguise itself as Christmas forever. I'm not saying get rid of Christmas, I'm saying get back to Christmas. It's a time for gathering with family and friends. I'd be much happier knowing everyone saved their money instead of blowing it on gift cards or a Friggin' Snuggy i'll never use. Wake up people!!!!!! Ask yourself the big question..........WHY?

    November 27, 2010 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • lynn_tx

      Your screen name is Harry Balsak and you're telling us to 'wake up'? How about you grow up.

      November 27, 2010 at 5:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike Hunt

      LMAO 😀 Harry Balsack... That's awesome!

      November 27, 2010 at 6:10 pm | Report abuse |
  15. quest7710

    word to the idiots that shop on bf weekend don't bring your nasty arguments with wife, brats or in laws to the store

    November 27, 2010 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
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