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. Old_Perfessor

    City fathers, law enforcement need to start having the stores (yep, they're the ones perpetrating these horrendous incidents) have sales at normal hours (not at a time when most folks are have asleep and crotchety to begin with) and need to make them adhere to certain standards. It's called civilization for a reason.

    November 26, 2010 at 9:20 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Mike

    id·i·ot   /ˈɪdiət/ –noun
    1. an utterly foolish or senseless person.
    2. Psychology . a person of the lowest order in a former classification of mental retardation, having a mental age of less than three years old and an intelligence quotient under 25
    3. Anybody who waits two days in line to shop at best buy or crush someone at Staples.

    November 26, 2010 at 9:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • a white guy

      4. Someone going by the name of Mike who takes his time to go through all of that desperately hoping to get people to laugh – the sounds of which he will never ever get the chance to hear.

      November 26, 2010 at 10:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • TheFlintSkinny

      Boom, roasted.

      November 26, 2010 at 11:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Fallowt

      I laughed. Phuck you, white guy.

      November 26, 2010 at 11:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • eville ed

      5. white guy with no sense of humor, harping about 1st comment for no reason to respond other than to put down somebody, to make himself feel better. Or is secretly jealous for not think of something funny himself.

      November 27, 2010 at 3:48 am | Report abuse |
  3. Bebekashmir

    I love reading these stories every year.

    November 26, 2010 at 9:22 pm | Report abuse |
  4. S Kyle

    Morons... all of this in the name of saving $5? Forget it. I'll pay full price on Monday morning when everyone is back at work and school.

    November 26, 2010 at 9:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Holly

      From you comment, I gather that you will not be in school or work Monday, allowing you to go shopping and pay full price. I suppose when you are spending your monthly check from the government, that us working people pay for, prices do not matter. However, those of us who work and pay our own way, will gladly get up a little early and save some $.

      November 26, 2010 at 9:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jen

      Holly, you're an idiot. Not everyone works Monday through Friday.

      November 26, 2010 at 10:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tony

      I agree! Holly is an idoit!!!! Grow up people don't work Mon – Fri. 9-5 anymore. I work Tuesday-Saturday and love having Monday off.

      November 26, 2010 at 11:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Holly

      Ok, agreed. That did sound idiotic. In fact, my hubby works four on, four off, so he def is not on my M-F, 8-5 schedule. s Kyle's comment just made it sound like he is sitting around doing nothing while the sales are going on, like he is plotting a genius plan to pay full price for something on Monday, as if $ is no big deal I guess it just ticks me off that a few bad apples ruin it for everyone. I went shopping Friday, but I did not hit, steal, or threaten anyone for anything....if I got what I came for, great. If not, well, too bad. My husband & I both work & make a decent living, but I am not above saving $100 on a TV or 50% of something my child wants for Christmas. I know that every dollar I save can be spent elsewhere. Everyone is judging the Black Friday shoppers, but they are really judging the few random idiots that make the rest of us normal shoppers look bad.

      November 27, 2010 at 11:29 am | Report abuse |
  5. Ray

    Silly. Slept late; watched the Auburn game and did some work around the house. These goofballs are an embarassment.

    November 26, 2010 at 9:24 pm | Report abuse |
  6. James

    In some ways I don't feel sorry for these people, really you camped out since Wednesday, skipped out on spending Thanksgiving with your family......how wonderful. What great memories that will be for the kids.....remember when mom was never around for Thanksgiving......yeah TV dinners....good times

    November 26, 2010 at 9:24 pm | Report abuse |
  7. kramer

    I want to comment but don't even know what to say; trampling? threatening to shoot someone? Camping overnight and this is all for kids? Where does this pressure come from that makes us behave so badly. Christmas as I knew it when I was a kid is gone and the Christmas of my parents and their parents–the one NOT based on buying and Black Fridays wouldn't even be recognizable today. We do fine without hitting the sales, without fighting for prices, without arguing and yelling and hating people we don't even know. Our kids are happy over the Holidays and we are with family. We plan ahead for things we'd like to do or gifts we'd like to give and we stay away from the insanity. And we don't let retailers define our Christmas experience. We aren't any better than anyone else, we just step back from the wheel a bit and try to enjoy all the things the holiday has always offered.

    November 26, 2010 at 9:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Blue

      Well put Kramer... There's an extremely fine line keeping modern human civilization from falling into the depths of depravity and anarchy. It happens all over the world every day. Black Friday is just a glimpse . . .

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

    @ hellae.. Love to read your posts but 1st time posting myself. I am am unemployed mother and I personally think spending TIME with my daughter is what makes Christmas. All this Black Friday s@#t is COMPLETELY stupid. But I hope you keep the zingers comin'! Love 'em!

    November 26, 2010 at 9:27 pm | Report abuse |
  9. JimBob

    Ahhmerica at is finest.

    November 26, 2010 at 9:27 pm | Report abuse |
  10. amy

    Yeah, Ms. Lattimore, you're not a violent person, but you have a record and a summons. You are just a doll, and let's hope you keep teaching your little one the graces of the holiday spirit. "Lattimore has had previous encounters with the law; she is scheduled to appear Dec. 9 in Sauk County on two charges of retail theft. She did not appear in court for an initial appearance. A summons was issued. In 2008, Lattimore pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor counts of retail theft, and electronic court records list a series of speeding and other traffic offenses." (madison.com)

    November 26, 2010 at 9:28 pm | Report abuse |
  11. BRod

    Embrace minimalism and leave the consumer machine. Greedy people need to evolve. Life is not about material things. Your kids and relatives will love you with or without presents.

    November 26, 2010 at 9:28 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Scott A

    Rafael, I remember violence and thefts being in Orlando even before Katrina. It has nothing to do with New Orleans or the people that lived in that region. Cops spend too much time worrying about keeping themselves safe or going after somebody driving 5 miles over the speed limit than worrying about the people they're supposed to protect – US. You cut out patrols and police coverage, than even 12 year old "cute as a button" boys with their fathers will go attack 83 year olds in parking lots. It has nothing to do with race or social class either – people steal for the thrill and how easy it is for them to get away with it.

    November 26, 2010 at 9:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • a white guy

      What's it like living with blinders on?

      November 26, 2010 at 10:14 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Gary

    Sorry but that's what you people get.

    November 26, 2010 at 9:29 pm | Report abuse |
  14. John

    Black Friday is a prime example of what is wrong with capitalism and commercialism run amok. Sometimes I truely do believe that Americans are the dumbest, most ignorant, and materialistic people on earth. Occurances like this make being an American a real embarrassment!

    November 26, 2010 at 9:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Travis

      Dumbest? I'm not so sure about that... if you lived in Spain you would be throwing yourself in front of thousands of pounds of running bulls and call it a tradition.

      November 26, 2010 at 9:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Blue

      @ Travis. Running from the bulls in Spain is dumb perhaps – – feeling ALIVE while doing it – – definitely ! (yes I've done it so don't ask).

      November 26, 2010 at 10:50 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Dale

    Get in the holiday spirit! Deck the halls . . . and your neighbor as well! Heard of a store clerk that had her nose broke trying to break up a fight.

    November 26, 2010 at 9:31 pm | Report abuse |
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