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 (1,199 Responses)
  1. Kevo

    Here, not a black person in sight. Also Black Friday comes from retailers being "in the black" or gaining profits; because if you had half a brain cell in your racist heads, you'd understand that profit on a business ledger is written in black ink, expenses or losses is written in red ink. – Educated Black Man.


    December 1, 2010 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • sam

      Possibly the most intelligent post on this thread. Thank you.

      Samantha- accounting major ;)

      December 5, 2010 at 3:21 am | Report abuse |
  2. Say WHAT?

    When did people get so stooopid during holiday shopping season? My solution: gift cards for everybody!!!!

    December 7, 2010 at 7:38 am | Report abuse |
  3. Kent

    The whole gift giving thing is strange, I don't understand it. I have very simple tastes and simple means and live far below my income level....and I am HAPPY. I dont waste time buying things and trying to pay debt. I will have a comfortable retirement. Most folks feel things bring happiness, they are very wrong.

    December 17, 2010 at 4:37 pm | Report abuse |
  4. ashish

    what is Debt Management Plan ?
    Debt Management Plan

    December 24, 2010 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Ricardo

    What!!!!! I'm sorry for what happened to this people, but black Friday is not supposed to be a joyful holy day season. It is black Friday that is destroying the holiday season!!

    April 18, 2011 at 9:30 am | Report abuse |
  6. hellae

    When we go home, the store closes...i guess you will need to camp out until the next day then

    November 26, 2010 at 8:27 pm | Report abuse |
  7. billgates

    Couldn't agree more. I did all my "Black Friday" shopping on the web, and will from now on.

    November 26, 2010 at 8:28 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Maggie

    I totally agree with you. I have never camped out for anything, and I don't even leave my house on "Black Friday." (Does anyone know why it is called "black." Seems like a strange thing to call the day that most businesses make most of their annual profit. You'd think that because it's the beginning of the Christmas season that they could call it something more cheerful. I assume that it's the media that started calling it this, with the stores now following suit (can't count the number of ads I've seen announcing "Black Friday" sales). "Green Friday" sounds more appropriate. But I still wouldn't go out and shop that day.

    November 26, 2010 at 8:33 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Kath

    Its called "Black Friday" because its when businesses hope to go from "in the red" to "in the black" from a financial standpoint.

    November 26, 2010 at 8:44 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Parkerman

    The term black friday comes from the businesses being in the black for the first time in the whole year.

    November 26, 2010 at 8:44 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Emmy

    Because instead of being in "the red" from overspending, your budget is still in "the black".

    November 26, 2010 at 9:12 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Anon

    "Black" as in the color of the ink of the store financials – they're "in the red" until that Friday. Has nothing to do with gloom and doom.

    November 26, 2010 at 9:15 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Shan007

    The name is derived from an accounting term. To be in the "red" is to be in the negative and to be in the "black" is to be in surplus. Stores hope that their large sales bring them into the black – ie: makes them a lot of money.

    November 26, 2010 at 9:16 pm | Report abuse |
  14. vernon

    thank you for the great news profit for business and the consumers and pay or die trying. that why i never left my home. i will wait till dec. and than jan to buy. that if i still have a job.

    November 26, 2010 at 9:16 pm | Report abuse |
  15. merry

    Exactly why it is called "black" friday. It takes companies into the "black" as opposed to the "red".

    November 26, 2010 at 9:52 pm | Report abuse |
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