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. Jimbob

    Thats the way we will all be shopping everyday when the progressives take over. There will be rations.

    November 26, 2010 at 8:45 pm | Report abuse |
  2. SKB, Connecticut

    I"m supposed to feel sorry for people that can't read the signs that say you will be towed for parking here? NOT. (BTW, I just came back from Target and still got everything I wanted/needed and didn't have to deal with any of this mess)

    November 26, 2010 at 8:45 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Katie

    It's called Black Friday because (traditionally) most stores/companies are in the "red" until that day of the year. The profits reaped from this single day are often enough to bump companies from the red into the black in the sales ledgers, hence the name "Black Friday."

    November 26, 2010 at 8:46 pm | Report abuse |
  4. David Lawrence

    All you Black Friday losers...got what you deserved. Had your stuff stolen??? Got what you deserved. Had your car towed??? Got what you deserved. Shouldn't have parked illegally...shouldn't have been so freakin' STUPID as to have left anything from Best Buy in your car. Got what you deserved. No sympathy. Get a freakin' life.

    November 26, 2010 at 8:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • hellae

      did someone take the drumsticks from you yesterday? little angry, aare we?

      November 26, 2010 at 8:53 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Rath E Weird

    This madness reminds me of the USSR in the 80's when people were fighting to get whatever was thrown out into the more-the-semi empty store shelves. Didn't like it then – it looked like hungry pigs in a disfunctional kolhkoz – don't like it now. And all these sob stories about getting the stuff for kids for X-mas – c'mon, people, there is the interwebs (thank you, St. Al Gore, for this bounty) – you look like Commie plebs. I know just how you feel. I don't care, but I know (c) Lolcats

    November 26, 2010 at 8:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jimbob

      Those days are coming to America, join the Tea-Party and stop it

      November 26, 2010 at 8:54 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Globalish

    Never really got into the whole Black friday thing. it's a shame people are willing to trample, threaten, and kill for a bargain. It's not that serious people...

    November 26, 2010 at 8:47 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Jimbob

    It's Bush's fault

    November 26, 2010 at 8:47 pm | Report abuse |
  8. dealwithit

    Rushing, grabby customers are my element. I do this for a living every week.

    November 26, 2010 at 8:48 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Munk

    During the Great Depression, people would fight and sometimes kill each other over bread being given out for free. Black Friday demonstrated today how greedy, violent, and arrogant some Americans will go to get what they want.

    November 26, 2010 at 8:49 pm | Report abuse |
  10. iho

    Black Friday, Black Cat, Dark Cloud, Black hole, Funerals you dress in Black, Halloween, Nightime, etc...anything that has black or dark in it is considered negative or bad. African Americans or anyone with dark skin are viewed as bad or just no good. It just isn't right. Can we name somethings that are bad "white" something??

    November 26, 2010 at 8:49 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Jeff

    The world is watching us... and shaking their heads.

    November 26, 2010 at 8:50 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Fred

    Look at that picture – greed!

    November 26, 2010 at 8:50 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Rambo

    How low can we fall as a people. I mean everyone, stores with their disingenuous policies, people wasting the best hours of their lives waiting to buy stuff they won't even look at 6 months from now. Thinking stuff is the best thing we can give our children.

    I sure hope Aliens are not watching this right now and judging us as a specie.

    November 26, 2010 at 8:50 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Mommyof3

    As a former advertising executive, I would just like to add for the record that 'black friday always meant the very LAST day you had to get your advertising in for print, t.v and what else or be screwed for the remainder of the holidays. It was never ever meant to be a marketing scam/code which, clearly, some so-called 'brilliant' marketeer has so deemed. Quite frankly I find it embarassing and deeming to the entire meaning of Christmas. People stealing from others? People willing to ignore parking notices only to ague about them? Forgetting Thanksgiving to stand in line for 12 hours to get a $50 discount? WHERE has our humanity gone? Our news media chomping at the bit to show people being stampeded on????? I ask our brand name stores – WHERE has your respect of the holidays gone? I ask CNN, where has YOUR respect of this holiday gone? And we wonder why our children ask give me, give me, give me, verese celebrating the true meaning of this holiday, which is to GIIVE to OTHERS???

    November 26, 2010 at 8:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • mary

      could not agree more! I think it is disgusting that people are will to behave like this for "things". What does it teach our children that people are willing to camp out for days to buy an piece of electronics equipment? I think the media coverage and build-up of Black Friday is partly to blame for building up the frenzy and the retailers should maybe consider offering sales throughout the season instead of having this chaos. And the shoppers need to look at themselves and ask themselves if buying things is worth all this. Things are not what make people happy. and definitely not things that you had to trample someone to get.

      November 26, 2010 at 8:58 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Cynthia

    ridiculous... people are stupid

    November 26, 2010 at 8:53 pm | Report abuse |
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