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. Protoman

    I'm guessing if half of you people went to school and contributed to society then we might be getting somewhere. Some of you are just as bad as these shoppers and you make it awfully difficult to defend this nation when a foreigner says we're morally bankrupt.

    November 28, 2010 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
  2. ApeHanger

    Unlike all the welfare recipients, trailer trash and nitwits who stood in line all night to purchase overpriced trinkets, I was working and earning money on Friday, not stampeding and spending money.

    As for the term "Black Friday," given what was standing outside the stores waiting to buy stuff they can't afford, it seems to aptly describe the day. If there's anyone with whom I would sympathize, it would be the poor folks who have to work in those stores and put up with the dirt-bags who swarm in like a pestilence.

    November 28, 2010 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
  3. jennifer

    All of you people whe are running your mouths on here about this could be spending your time at work making a doller to
    buy your children some books instead of worring about someone else just because people go shopping on black friday dose not mean they are ignorant or broke. I have a very GOOD stable job where i make a large salary , and i chose to go because my mom allways said A PENNY SAVED IS A PENNY EARNED. Now all of you should shut it..

    November 28, 2010 at 12:13 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Dan

    Pathetic idiots and losers!!!

    November 28, 2010 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Omar Jackson

    Its not right when people will go to those lengths to buy gifts. Its supposed to be a good day where we go out, shop, and treat each other with respect.
    The T-Mobile people that towed those cars were in their rights to do so, but that was an awful thing to do when you know why its being done.
    I wouldn't shop at an establishment that would do people like that.
    To send them a msg, the people of that city should avoid shopping at that location. (if they care nothing for you, you should care nothing for them). Fair is fair, right?

    November 28, 2010 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Caral from SoCal

    After 5 paycuts in 2 1/2 years, I ventured out on Black Friday for the first time ever (though not until afternoon). We have a small Christmas fund for gifts for the kids, and I was hoping to make the most of it. Trust me, I wasn't looking for the $100 goodies – it was the DVDs for $5, and the clothes at 75% off – a new jacket for $11. The crowds were well-mannered here in SoCal. Most of the people I spoke with were, like me, not greedy for the big goods, just trying to make their money go farther this year. I feel sorry for the merchants. They can cut prices right down to their cost, but that is still not going to tempt those of us who just do not have the resources to buy such frivolous and expensive things. This is the price of having an economy based on retail rather than manufacturing.

    November 28, 2010 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
  7. SewerRat

    The problem is, most of the people I know who are obsessed with Black Friday are at least middle class people who have all the access they need to online deals. Stores run great sales from now til Christmas, so why be so crazy over being the first one in the door at 4 AM?
    I think Black Friday retailers should be regulated some way by police departments. Think of the incredible demand this "holiday" places on government resources, from excessive traffic requiring more patrol officers to situations like the Target scenario which require medical personnel, etc. If any other industry created a scenario lending itself to this much chaos, traffic, crime, etc. the authorities would shut them down or fine them heavily. It's completely unnecessary and turns normal Americans into complete raging, selfish animals.

    November 28, 2010 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Karen

    All this in the name of the BIG RETAILERS MAKING OR BREAKING IT THIS YEAR!!!!!! We sure gripe about those big corporations treating the little guy like crap, it's people like the BLACK FRIDAY SHOPPERS that make things so expensive. Most of the stuff that people were camping out for were the big electronic ticket items that they possibly couldn't afford or they wouldn't be camping out that early to get a deal that they are possibly going to put on a credit card. No wonder our economy is the way it is!!!!!!

    November 28, 2010 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
  9. akorn

    I go black friday shopping every year. But I live in Oklahoma and maybe it depends on where you live because i've never had a problem. Maybe Oklahoman's still have some morals because the black friday horror story crap never happens here. If someone bumps into you they always say they are sorry, we dont push one another down or anything like that. When stores open people dont push one another over in an attempt to save a few dollars on something they want. So when you guys are lumping all black friday shoppers as crazy or stupid maybe you should open your eyes and see that not everyone has forgotten their morals and there are even some areas where people are still nice to one another!

    November 28, 2010 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Free the Leaf

    prohibition fuels criminality

    http://www.facebook.com/free.the.leaf

    November 28, 2010 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Not so dumb

    My wife and I make well over 200K/year combined, and there we were in line Friday morning like a bunch of others. Call us stupid if you want, but we purchased the exact big screen TV and two laptops that we set out for. Saved about 500 bucks total. Even for us, 500 bucks is 2-3 day's work, so investing a few hours in line was worth it.

    November 28, 2010 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bryon

      Wow thanks for sharing. Its good to know people who don't even need the great deal of the day are taking it from the ones who really do. Well that is the American way isn't it.............

      November 28, 2010 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
  12. dane

    it'a only in America that we find a holiday to be thankful followed by a holiday to be greedy. lol

    November 28, 2010 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Nic

    if you have to return the gifts you bought to pay for the tow truck fees, you couldn't afford the gifts int he first place.

    November 28, 2010 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Vicki H

    The one that gets me the most is the idiot arrested for disorderly conduct. She just wanted to get her daughter the toy she wanted so she threatened to shoot people? I'll bet her daughter is a spoiled little brat if her Mom acts like that to get her what she wants. Grow up already. You obviously are too immature and idiotic to have a child so why not allow someone that can give her love raise her so she doesn't end up like her Mother.

    November 28, 2010 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Brian

    Idiots."I'm not a violent person," yet she threatened to shoot someone. People so desperate to buy crap they park in other stores' lots, then cry that they got towed. You are all getting what you deserve!

    November 28, 2010 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
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