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. diane

    Wow!! Merry Christmas, it is amazing to watch the absolute cattle type stampedes that occur on this day. Instead of worring about politics and who is marring who, the tea party candidates should tell people to be less greedy and remember what christmas is supposed to mean to all the faithful.

    November 28, 2010 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Kevin

    Way to go T-Mobile.....you made some people's Christmas.

    November 28, 2010 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Enrico

    America at its saddest! Buying stuff, buying stuff, buying stuff... ...and always poor quality stuff so that the simpleton American will back the following year again and again and again...

    November 28, 2010 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Bryon

    When you threaten to kill people for a better place in line you've just taken the meaning of Christmas altogether and p issed all over it.

    November 28, 2010 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Andy

    Wow I am suprised at all the idiots on here posting the same thing over and over again! Thanks for the 1000 answers to the same question!

    November 28, 2010 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • BT

      ...and it's call Black Friday becuzzz.......?

      November 28, 2010 at 9:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • EJS

      wow is right...a million answers to the same question... People are so proud to get something so simple right, i guess.
      Hey in the Dallas cowboy Game the other day, one guy ran back in intercerception 101 yds for a Touchdown. What would've happened if he kept runnning all the way through the end zone ? wouldn't he get something like 111 yds or 116 yds then ?

      November 29, 2010 at 3:21 am | Report abuse |
  6. Mike

    The bleeding hearts would have you believe that people are good, all profiling is bad, and stifle any attempts for law enforcement to be proactive in deterring crime (labeling it invasion of privacy, racial profiling, abuse of power, etc.). Well, when police officers are afraid of the media, and lawyers, criminals take advantage, now taking from cars in broad daylight. On the other hand, all these shoppers should be saving their money. I don't want to hear all the sob stories early next year when they can't pay their credit card bills and they plead for the gov't to punish guys like me who are financially responsible to cover their poor decisions.

    November 28, 2010 at 4:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • percy

      FWIW – I worked at the GAP for 4 years, people from the "Ghetto" used to come to my mall because it was safer, friendlier, nicer, etc.

      And they paid in cash.

      It was the... ahem "White" patrons who paid with their bankcards, and later returned in January to return things they could not afford.

      November 28, 2010 at 9:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • KellyinBoston

      I take it that this is an anti-black posting, Mike. I'm about as white as they come. My experience has been that is whites (well, trashy whites) that commit crimes of violence like those described in the trampling of folks in Buffalo.

      November 28, 2010 at 11:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • ginamero

      This is for Kelly in Boston and Mike....uh, humans of all stripes – rich/poor, black/white, yellow/brown, female/male, obese/thin, crooked rotten teeth/straight white teeth....there are those that behave badly in every category and subcategory. All 4 of you keep making it one or the other of us....grow up.

      November 30, 2010 at 5:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • 314swfl413

      percy, stop being a racist liar.

      December 3, 2010 at 7:02 pm | Report abuse |
  7. ontheroadagain

    big box stores rate their level of sucess by how many people get crushed at the doors

    November 28, 2010 at 5:27 pm | Report abuse |
  8. John

    Wow! These things are totally disgusting, and a sign of how debased our so-called "civilization" has become. We are a very greedy and materialistic nation.

    November 28, 2010 at 7:49 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Win

    These losers should get jobs instead of sitting on their butts in front of a store.

    November 28, 2010 at 8:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Shelby

      Who the heck is going to hire GHETTO TRAILER TRASH?????

      November 28, 2010 at 10:28 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Dani3l

    Ah! The season of good will and all that. I feel bad for those who had their cars bugled, but not those towed, or arrested for threatening to shoot people. I'd also love to know how many folks got tickets for parking in spots reserved for the handicapped.

    November 28, 2010 at 9:16 pm | Report abuse |
  11. dope

    36 hours... in parking lot.. on a holiday... waiting for saving what... 50 100 bucks... then put it in the car... in an electronics retailer parking lot... on the busiest shopping day of the year... and someone steals it...

    lessee... where to start... maybe... if they had spent those 36 hours reading something like how not to be an idiot...

    HAHAHAHAHAAHHAHAHAHHA you efffffiinn dopes

    HAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHHAHAHAHHAH
    HAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHHAHAHAHHAH
    HAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHHAHAHAHHAH
    HAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHHAHAHAHHAH

    next time... park in the tmobile lot – THEIR stuff wasn't stolen... just the whole efffinnnn CAR....

    HAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHHAHAHAHHAH
    HAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHHAHAHAHHAH
    HAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHHAHAHAHHAH
    HAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHHAHAHAHHAH

    November 28, 2010 at 9:45 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Stephanie

    Well now that Black Friday is over, head on over to CyberMondayz online for even more savings for all things electronic

    November 28, 2010 at 11:24 pm | Report abuse |
  13. dividia snape

    Got to love all the racists comments. I stood in line with Blacks and Hispanics from 3 am til Best Buy opened at 5am. There was no unruly behavior. I've worked at Best Buy before and hear the ethnic customers talking about how they have saved up the whole year for this item for their kids. I've been learning how to save my money for things that I need more than want. However, I will admit (and I'm White, too) that like the other White customers I will break out my credit card. However, there was a White lady in front of me that pulled out something close to 7 credit cards and proceeded to have the cashier check each one before putting a few dollars here and there on each card. Now that was insane! Then she went into some sob story about how her son had broken his and she was going to surprise him with another before Christmas.

    November 28, 2010 at 11:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • ginamero

      I'm white and I pay for most everything in cash and do not carry a balance on my cards....ever, and I'm 45. You posting negative, racist stuff about white people makes you sound as low as those posting about blacks.

      November 30, 2010 at 5:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • ginamero

      I understand now, you 'gotta love all the racist comments,' that's why you chimed in with your own...my error. See, I just thought you were being rude and racist....I didn't realize you love these type of comments. You felt so compelled to toss your own racism out there.

      November 30, 2010 at 5:50 pm | Report abuse |
  14. ThatScreenNameIsAlreadyTaken

    lol I'm not gonna lock my car door and leave electronics in the open lol
    It's not like i'm gonna get robbed.

    November 29, 2010 at 12:12 am | Report abuse |
  15. Katie

    I wonder how many of you people have actually gone Black Friday shopping. I have for the past couple years, and it is only the bad things that get covered. Nobody tells you about the girl who helped the old lady carry toys for her grandchildren through the store. They don't cover the story about the man who saved up the little money he had to shop on Black Friday so he could get his daughter the toy that she secretly wanted but was too afraid to ask for because she knew they couldn't afford it normally. Most of the people shopping that day are going because of the sales. In this economy, every dollar counts. Being able to save 50% on a book, toy, or article of clothing for your child is a God send for some of these people. Do not down this entire activity just because a few people give it a bad name. Don't judge something or someone for things you know nothing about.

    November 29, 2010 at 12:34 am | Report abuse |
    • ginamero

      The same could be said for the Tea Party. I've never been shopping on Black Friday. I was in Spain, at dinner, and a German and Catalanian at the table pointed to the TV and said, "Look at the United States." There was a chuckle in her voice when she said it. I turned to the tv and seen the mass mob, shrugged and said, "Black Friday." Then I had to explain what it was. And before anyone says anything ugly, I was there for work on our National Holiday and would have preferred to be home with all my family. Alas, I have a good job and want to keep it so I don't have to shop these horrible hours and fight over consumer goods.

      November 30, 2010 at 5:57 pm | Report abuse |
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