November 26th, 2010
07:21 PM ET

Thefts, stampedes make Black Friday blue for some

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 (1,200 Responses)
  1. Brad

    Black Friday is just that black and grim. It should be banned. Its not worth it anymore. People getting violent over toys and tupperwear. Store employees get trampled to death or someone gets hurt every year. Is saving money so much more than a human life? We are a shattered society as indeceny continues to corrupt our country over petty things.

    November 28, 2010 at 1:32 am | Report abuse |
  2. Kenny

    That Best Buy is 5 minutes from me. The JCP is right across the street. How foolish can they be? Leaving merchandise in a car, even I would bust your window for it. And for those who say that's not right, serves them right for leaving valuables in a car. Bet they won't do that again.

    November 28, 2010 at 1:38 am | Report abuse |
  3. CNN4Idiots

    Wanna bet the Palm Beach robbers were BLACK??

    November 28, 2010 at 1:40 am | Report abuse |
    • ME

      Judging from all of the various "victims'" names, it seems they were the ones who were black.

      November 28, 2010 at 7:19 am | Report abuse |
  4. srjsac

    As a resident of Sacramento I can say the WalMart is in a "pushy and unruly" area of town. The word "buffoons" used by another poster is totally appropriate. What can you expect from folks who are unwilling to behave in a civilized way. Why wait in line when you can shove someone else aside.

    November 28, 2010 at 1:42 am | Report abuse |
  5. seenenuf

    lets continue to have Black Friday....it's a good way to thin the morons out of the population!

    November 28, 2010 at 1:51 am | Report abuse |
  6. AaronF

    My biggest question is why these people camp out? I mean, when did Thanksgiving stop being about what you are thankful for, and start being about the "amazing deals" that are showing up at these retail stores? Having worked retail during the beanie baby craze, I know how crazy people get. Add to it black friday fever, and people border on being homicidal. Why would anyone put themselves through this, even for the chance to save a couple of bucks?

    November 28, 2010 at 2:05 am | Report abuse |
  7. schwaa56

    Just do what my son's and I do. Box up your worst garbage, potato pealing's , coffee grounds spoiled fruit and veggies, clotted milk, rancid meat, and such. Wrap it up in nice Christmas wrappings then leave it in the back seat of the car with the doors unlocked. Park at the mall and go in for an hour or two. We have never returned and found the gifts still sitting were we left them. Me and the boys get a chuckle all the way home wondering about the faces of the lowlifes when they open their ill gotten booty. Or better yet if they give it as a gift to someone without checking. We have had this tradition now for 10 years, and hope others do the same.

    November 28, 2010 at 2:45 am | Report abuse |
    • Rocky

      Now, this is a FANTASTIC idea!

      November 28, 2010 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
    • ApeHanger

      Now that really stinks!

      November 28, 2010 at 11:33 am | Report abuse |
    • Rahul

      That is one of the best comments I've read.

      November 28, 2010 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
  8. MsCommonSense

    Lol this is why you should take advantage of "Cyber Monday" instead :)

    November 28, 2010 at 2:46 am | Report abuse |
  9. PeopleWatcher

    Haha I go to stores on Black Friday a bit after they've opened just to see the people grabbing things like their lives depend on it. Hilarious. I think next year I'll watch them storm in too though lol.

    November 28, 2010 at 2:51 am | Report abuse |
    • NicciHAHA

      u know while ur doing that take some water guns u know the powerful ones and just start shooting ppl LOL im sry thats funny i wrk for a major retailer and i dont hate black friday i just think ppl are dumb the way they go looking for the best deal the best deal is when u spend the holidays with ur family talking and laughing and slowing down to show the love think of that. Why do kids have to have the best my kids get a certain amount (less than $100) and they have grown to be pretty good kids so i dont think they had to have all the latest crap they just needed discplin and learn appreciation!!

      November 28, 2010 at 11:02 am | Report abuse |
  10. Rose

    I love the Thanksgiving holiday and continue to celebrate although we no longer live in the states. It's sad to see that yet another holiday is being twisted and trashed by consumerism gone awry. Isn't it much nicer to participate in a family activity with your children than to sit in a cold parking lot waiting for a store to open? What priorities are u teaching, in practice, when you put a toy in front of family time during this holiday week-end? My kids don't have all the fancy games and they are just fine – no trauma there. The media, the stores, and all of us are to blame for a complete loss of sight of what is truly important.

    November 28, 2010 at 5:18 am | Report abuse |
  11. EM

    Just wait til gasoline shortages hit in about 5 years or so. You are going to see people killing each other. That's a fact because that's exactly what happened back in 1973 during the OPEC oil embargo. And then if there's food shortages? Brrr, makes me shiver just to think of it.

    November 28, 2010 at 5:56 am | Report abuse |
    • Rocky

      Wow! I can almost see you sitting in your underwear and drooling at the prospect of human beings killing each other over gas and food. Sounds like a really cool video game, doesn't it?

      November 28, 2010 at 11:21 am | Report abuse |
    • EM

      What are you, some wack job? You're the one 'thought leaving clotted milk and rotten meat on the back-seat of a car was, uh, "...a FANTASTIC idea..." (sic). Go back to bed.

      November 29, 2010 at 8:42 am | Report abuse |
  12. Paul

    No savings is worth more than my sanity and time!

    November 28, 2010 at 6:33 am | Report abuse |
  13. tim

    Maybe if, instead of having the one day of 'Crazy Shopping', they did a mixture of surprise sales along the way that happens in store only, that way it would it wouldn't disrupt Thanksgiving so bad and it would increase sales by creating a urgency of showing up at different times, instead of all at the same dang time madness. tic

    November 28, 2010 at 7:51 am | Report abuse |
  14. tim

    Maybe if, instead of having the one day of 'Crazy Shopping', they did a mixture of surprise sales along the way that happens 'In store' only, that way it would it wouldn't disrupt Thanksgiving so bad and it would increase sales by creating a urgency of showing up at different times, instead of all at the same dang time madness. tic

    November 28, 2010 at 7:55 am | Report abuse |
  15. Pat

    I have to give props to Wal-mart (can't believe I said that) but I think they handled it perfectly. If the shoppers were going to act like children, pushing and shoving and possibly escalating into worse than they should be treated as such. Sending them out of the store until they settled down was a perfect solution. Too many people get injured, too many act like total morons, maybe other stores will follow their lead next year and stop the stupidity before it gets out of hand. I'm sure that after all was said and done, the store still sold as much product if not more.

    November 28, 2010 at 8:07 am | Report abuse |
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