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. Richester

    San Francisco, that explains it.

    November 27, 2010 at 9:24 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Retired LE

    People are like cattle. They will stampede at the slightest provocation (low prices in this case) and once they get going there's nothing you can do but get out of the way and hope you don't get trampled.

    November 27, 2010 at 9:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • cetubak

      We Need A new plague.

      November 28, 2010 at 8:49 am | Report abuse |
    • Rocky

      Cetubak? We already have a new plague. A plague of stupidity as evidenced by people like you.

      November 28, 2010 at 11:10 am | Report abuse |
    • ontheroadagain

      the shoppers are like fat pigs running for the trough.

      November 28, 2010 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
  3. jeff

    Does anyone find the irony that someone has to return their xbox to pay for their towing fee? If you can't afford to get your car out of tow yard, how the hell can you afford a xbox? Priorities people! Next time, read the upside down towing sign...do you think it does not pertain to you because it was upside down?! Morons!

    November 27, 2010 at 9:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • TtotheG

      Did you ever think that maybe the person cannot afford the $300 for the xbox AND the $300+ for the tow? Sounds like you're the moron.

      November 28, 2010 at 1:24 am | Report abuse |
    • dev

      You're absolutely right. if you don't have $300 sitting in an emergency fund somewhere... why the hell are you going on expensive shopping sprees for toys? These morons wonder why the economy is hurting them so bad... this is why. Most people don't realize that if they had budgeted theirselves, they wouldn't have been severely affected by our country's economic "woes". I put that in parenthesis b/c I still don't believe our economy is in all that bad of a shape... especially when people still continue to live beyond their means (this article, case in point & the many hummers/corvettes that I still see on the roads).

      November 28, 2010 at 1:50 am | Report abuse |
    • ME

      I agree with Jeff. When I was a kid and money was tight, I didn't get a $300 toy. I got inexpensive, useful items like clothing, shoes or school supplies and fruit in my stocking. No one poor can ever justify wasting that much on a single child's toy!

      November 28, 2010 at 7:13 am | Report abuse |
    • Jeff S

      Umm where have you guys been for the last couple of years? Have you not sen the news about housing bubble collapse and the credit issues? America is built on credit. People use credit to buy small tickets items they cannot afford. Someone that is buying a $300 toy can't afford a towing charge is not surprising to me. Its what has gotten America in to this mess.

      November 28, 2010 at 9:34 am | Report abuse |
    • Nik without a C

      I did not go this time, after all the horror stories, yes Wal-Mart should be banned period, from Black Friday, they don't treat workers fairly at all, and they are non union. Don't get me wrong I would appreciate if their sales associates would smile at least a little more or laugh. My point is yes people should have jobs, part time or full time. My own store had to hire a lot, but as soon as the holidays are over, I am on my own again. So please do us all a favor, don't park where there is a towing zone, and don't leave valuables, or at least have a car alarm to ward off thieves. I would call 911 ASAP to get the stuff back. My other point is buy the gifts another day during the week, when it is less crazy. Black Friday will give you a black eye or blue, If that happened in San Diego, I would Sue big time make those who cut in line, and ground that person and make them write on a Chalkboard at 8 am in Detention, "I will not cut in line a hundred times till there hands hurt. So just leave it for at least The week before Thanksgiving for Black Friday and make them pay up every last penny. Not Joking!

      November 28, 2010 at 10:44 am | Report abuse |
    • mearcat

      some people save all year to buy for thair kids so when they get a unexpected towing bill or any other coast they didnt plan for they have to put somthing back to pay for it . some people may over spend thair food bill and have to put somthing back. they are not stupid they are human more of us need to look at the word stupid versus human have a human day jeff

      November 28, 2010 at 12:14 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Third3y3

    Greed.

    November 27, 2010 at 9:32 pm | Report abuse |
  5. cvntg

    Thats rough tho.....
    But funny.
    I feel it for them

    November 27, 2010 at 10:00 pm | Report abuse |
  6. chUHI

    This makes the news?????? It's amazing how our medial covers crap like this when other events should be covered like the following"

    U.S. counterterrorists nailed a Somali national after he attempted to blow up an improvised explosive device at a Christmas tree lighting celebration at Pioneer Courthouse Square in Portland, Oregon.
    FBI agents and Portland cops thwarted the teenager's plot to blow up a van full of explosives at a crowded venue. According to a report obtained by the National Association of Chiefs of Police's Terrorism Committee, the Somali teen's IED was a fake device supplied by undercover agents and civilians were never in danger.

    U.S. counterterrorists nailed a Somali national after he attempted to blow up an improvised explosive device at a Christmas tree lighting celebration at Pioneer Courthouse Square in Portland, Oregon.
    FBI agents and Portland cops thwarted the teenager's plot to blow up a van full of explosives at a crowded venue. According to a report obtained by the National Association of Chiefs of Police's Terrorism Committee, the Somali teen's IED was a fake device supplied by undercover agents and civilians were never in danger.

    The terror suspect, 19-year old Mohamed Osman Mohamud, was captured on late Friday afternoon after dialing a cellular phone he believed would detonate a large explosion at the Christmas ceremony. At that point, FBI agents and local police officers swarmed the suspect.

    November 27, 2010 at 10:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • displeased

      So news should be limited to what you find necessary?

      November 27, 2010 at 10:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Incanpoop

      Yes, we already read that story. It's been headline news on CNN for the last day or so. Don't get too excited just because your scary terrorist stories aren't being repeated over and over again.

      November 28, 2010 at 12:24 am | Report abuse |
    • ihatefanboys

      call black friday stuff retarded, i do it all the time....but at least it aint propaganda like the crap u just listed. theres a reason why there hasnt been a terrorist attack since 9/11....the govt got what it wanted, support for unnecessary wars in the middle east that will never end. when the govt needs public support for something thats when there will be another attack...guaranteed

      November 28, 2010 at 5:08 am | Report abuse |
    • Brad in Canada

      The priority after 9/11, was to instill fear in each and every person in North America. Right after that, you got the "Patriot act" and you gave up a "little" freedom to "stay safe". Then, if you disagreed with Washington you were "unpatriotic". While 9/11 was NOT planned by the government they knew "something" was going to happen and let it, because they saw the potential for a long term method of controlling the masses. It was just a whole lot bigger than expected. Now so many freedoms on both sides of the border are gone, never to return. This is what our governments learned from 9/11.

      November 28, 2010 at 11:03 am | Report abuse |
  7. Mugsy

    How Many times does this have to happen before the stores come up with a system to ensure shopper safety? I guess we could count on people to act human....nah!

    November 27, 2010 at 10:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rocky

      Act human, Mugsy? They're doing just that. The human race has evolved into creatures with a sense of privilege and greed. Sure, there are the overt criminals who rob things from your car. But there are also the "gentile rich" who rob people by cutting their wages, moving their jobs overseas and otherwise screwing their fellow human beings. There are people who sit in the front row of their church and synagogue and then verbally mutilate their neighbors. There are those who wouldn't give a dime to a hungry person. Yup, that's what our human race has become.

      November 28, 2010 at 11:14 am | Report abuse |
  8. WOW to the comments

    Why are people on here being so cruel? This could happen to any one and its very sad their things were stolen after waiting for almost two days. I just don't understand why people are criticizing them for waiting in line or not thinking and putting their valuables in their car. No one deserves this especially around the holidays, just put yourself in their shoes and stop being so rude.

    November 27, 2010 at 10:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wake up call

      I agree I see people barely making it on a daily basis. we need to help our fellow man out–Remember the meaning of the season the true meaning of the season is about Jesus and remember we need to help each other out otherwise what kind of world are we going to leave for or children...

      November 28, 2010 at 12:29 am | Report abuse |
    • ME

      Actually, it couldn't happen to anyone. It requires unemployed bums who have nothing better to do than waste their time waiting in line for days to buy materialistic junk. It also requires someone stupid enough to leave $1000 worth of junk in their car. This would never happen to me or anyone else with a brain and their priorities in the right place.

      November 28, 2010 at 7:16 am | Report abuse |
    • Jeff S

      Sure its bad. But people need to wake up and start being responsible for their stuff. How many times have you been warned not to leave valuables in your car? We all know this stuff happens. I have no sympathy for people that have been warned, or should know better.

      Are you suggesting that partial blame for this belongs at the feet of others that should have helped out? Other people have no responsibility for your stuff, or to you. You are the sole person responsible for your life. Sure its nice when they help another out, but they are not obligated to.

      And as far as no one deserves this? Life is not game in which you get freebies. Unfortunately some people get up and steal to make a living. The world is a cruel place. It's time people wake up and start seeing it as such and living accordingly instead of prentending it isn't.

      November 28, 2010 at 9:46 am | Report abuse |
    • LOL

      Wow I'm glad I live in Maine where I can leave valuables in my car without worrying about some minority capitalizing on it. Sounds like it really sucks to live in the big city with all the bottom feeders preying on all your valuables.

      November 28, 2010 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • DSC

      I am sorry for the people that got hurt and I don't think that everyone who participates in the misnamed "Black Friday" is stupid. However, I think the holiday is an absolute disgrace and I cannot understand people skipping Thanksgiving where we give thanks to God and celebrate our families in order to wait in line at a store for a misnamed event that celebrates greed. P.S. the day of mayham after Thanksgiving is misnamed because the name "Black Friday" belows to the Friday before Easter which is also known as Good Friday.

      November 28, 2010 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
  9. YounanMarketingAndManagementAssociatesInc, Int'l Intst''r

    I remember taylor swift as a much older woman. i mean the name has been used in broadcast news items for some time. what exactly is going on. previously i never read the articles about her though. theresa noelle younan ymma-iii interpole galactica y-research management i-pic.

    November 27, 2010 at 10:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • ApeHanger

      What on earth are you smoking, bubba?

      November 28, 2010 at 11:26 am | Report abuse |
  10. Seyba Keita

    BET PEOPLE on this forum will be more sympathetic if some poor blonde white girl was interview.

    November 27, 2010 at 10:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Timbo

      Bet not, ya rascist!

      November 27, 2010 at 11:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • auguron

      Barbaric simpletons are undeserving of sympathy, no matter the skin color or gender.

      November 28, 2010 at 2:36 am | Report abuse |
  11. Brittany

    I went shopping on Black Friday this year for the first time. I thought it would be kind of fun, get the Christmas spirit going- I was wrong. People were mean and rude. It's a fight to the death to get what you're looking for. I'll definitely stick with online shopping from now on.

    November 27, 2010 at 10:51 pm | Report abuse |
  12. B=Dog

    LOL Serves these greedy people right!

    November 27, 2010 at 10:53 pm | Report abuse |
  13. mechatronics

    So what was the final body count?

    November 27, 2010 at 11:42 pm | Report abuse |
  14. tomc7676

    Can we PLEASE get back to calling it "the Day After Thanksgiving" instead of a term coined by disgruntled workers and made obnoxious and shoved down the throats of the general public? Face it, it sounds like a day of catastrophe (google "Black Tuesday", "Black Sunday", or "Black September").

    Again, "THE DAY AFTER THANKGSGIVING". Not "B***k Fr*d*y". Thank you!

    November 27, 2010 at 11:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • loreebeeeeeeeeber

      Do you have a clue as to WHY it is called black friday?

      November 28, 2010 at 10:05 am | Report abuse |
    • SIIIIIGH

      It's called "Black Friday" because it's the day most retailers begin operating in the black for the fiscal year. Meaning, they are operating in positive financial territory. Most of the year, these companies do not make money. Don't be dumb.

      November 28, 2010 at 11:01 am | Report abuse |
  15. crystal

    @ Rahul

    thank you for shutting Renee up.

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