November 26th, 2010
07:21 PM ET

Thefts, stampedes make Black Friday blue for some

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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. James

    What do they expect? Office a one or two laptops at a greatly reduced price – sell them to a few people. Then expect everyone else to pay full price. No wonder shoppers get angry and agressive.

    November 26, 2010 at 7:34 pm | Report abuse |

      it would have been better to to to and shop from there...

      November 26, 2010 at 8:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dr Nalin Palin

      LOL this is how it should be everywhere. If people r being too aggressive everybody has to go back outside leave everything and sit outside with index finger over their lips and wait. Then they will repeat as long as they have to

      November 26, 2010 at 8:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steven

      This is not a direct reply to James but simply statements about the incident. These three women put electronic items worth alot of money in their cars unattended. For many years the news carries advice from police about putting items out of sight, nobody follows these rules and their upset that the items are gone! The opportunity for theft is created by the retailers and the thieves just wait for the shoppers to get the items and then hit the vehicles and grab, this is nothing new. If your paying that much money, TAKE IT HOME! I have no sympathy for people who have no common sense!

      November 26, 2010 at 9:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • scotty501


      November 27, 2010 at 9:14 am | Report abuse |
  2. abby normal

    sure, 'cause that's what thanksgiving is all about....trampling others....sheesh. check please, i've had enough...

    November 26, 2010 at 7:47 pm | Report abuse |
  3. confussedd

    Americans shopping are like animals. They trample, threaten, fight and as we proved last year will kill someone. We are worse than those is the third world because it is really nothing we need to survive we are just greedy ignorant pigs at times.

    November 26, 2010 at 7:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • CheleViajero

      Very well said.

      November 26, 2010 at 8:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ike

      Yeah... it's almost as bad as Europeans and soccer...

      November 26, 2010 at 8:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • USAHunterNRAMember

      I completely agree with this. Such bleak minds running in and making a ruckus out of nothing. Quite embarrassing.

      November 26, 2010 at 8:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • focus

      Great comment, how's that possible in a super rich society !!! What a poor behavior in that admirable country.

      November 26, 2010 at 8:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • minavaan

      Agree. I'm European, but this so called Black Friday- tradition is something I still have not gotten used to. Why on earth would you camp out in a parking lot over night just to be able to be first on line? It really looks silly to me and I feel sorry for these poor souls, who do not seem to be the sharpest tools in a shed! Shop on line, no time waisted and you can do it on your PJ's.

      November 26, 2010 at 8:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Phylicia

      I couldn't agree more! We canadians have our boxing day equivalent to black Friday...but the biggest drama you'll see is a non physical fight over a parking spot.

      November 26, 2010 at 8:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Anne

      Why? I just want to know why?

      November 27, 2010 at 8:48 am | Report abuse |
  4. Jack

    I bet the camera crew stole the stuff.

    November 26, 2010 at 8:02 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Resist710

    The degeneration of a society. Our grandparents would be absolutely mortified.

    November 26, 2010 at 8:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lone

      Right, mortified that they had a hand in it. Those being in the position to own and lead the commercial markets in decades past, our parents and older, have molded and milked every holiday that has a potential consumer value. Even those that didn't (Valentines) were evolved to suit the need or just made up as extensions (Black Friday). I know it's easy to look at how people act today but the current state, of consumerism or society, did not appear out of thin air.

      November 26, 2010 at 8:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lone's right.

      Lone wins the prize today. MORE MORE MORE!!! Quick, now that the irresponsible are back in charge of the House we need to pass more pro-business legislation and deregulate banking until we're all screwed. Oh, wait. too late. They did that last time.

      November 26, 2010 at 9:10 pm | Report abuse |
  6. johnny orlando

    Someone ought to firebomb that tow company. Tow truck drivers are the sleeziest of all professions. Even Hitler would have disapproved of them

    November 26, 2010 at 8:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rich

      Hitler did disapprove of them. It is a little known fact that after Hitler took power, tow truck drivers were among the first to be rounded up.

      November 26, 2010 at 8:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Two Truck Drivers Wife

      I would just like to tell you and other people with that kind of opinion that if you followed simple rules you wouldn't get you car towed. If you do get towed that is your fault and not the tow truck driver or anybody else for that matter. The only reason I think you made the comment you did is because you must be a few cans short of a six pack and had your vehicle towed more than once because you can't follow simple rules. Sorry for you maybe one of these days you will learn but in the mean time I am able to pay the bills. So I would like to personally thank you for your business:)

      November 26, 2010 at 8:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dizzy Buzz

      Hitler was hip to the fact that the "chosen people" controlled the towing racket. When they towed his Benz away from the Fuhrerbunker he was so teed off he shot himself. True story!

      November 26, 2010 at 8:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • jesuguru

      "Twotruckdriverswife" – are you married to two different truck drivers? Or are you two different wives married to the same trucker using the same login? 🙂

      November 26, 2010 at 8:42 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Marco

    The day I could actually see a thief breaking into my car.......I will do everything I can to make the day hell for him. It will bring an animal out of me.

    November 26, 2010 at 8:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • hellae

      like what?...yell "polo"?

      November 26, 2010 at 8:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • cosmicsnoop

      What kind of animal? And where will it come out of you?

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

      Most civilized societies consider removing an animal from within your person to be a taboo practice. Please consult local laws before proceeding. Just sayin'.

      November 26, 2010 at 9:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • hfe

      Using possibly deadly force in defense of property and not life is illegal in 47 states.

      November 28, 2010 at 9:00 am | Report abuse |
  8. stupidamericans

    Hilarious, go baa stupid sheep.

    November 26, 2010 at 8:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • 100yearswar

      haha no kidding. I didn't even leave the house today, just relaxed with the family after an enjoyable holiday yesterday. can you imagine going out into that storm of fury to save a few bucks?? maddening!

      November 26, 2010 at 8:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • chris

      I totally agree – I live in Korea where the culture creates "sheeple." Today, I am embarrassed to be an American.

      November 26, 2010 at 9:02 pm | Report abuse |
  9. diggit

    I thought they were going to do away with this after someone got freaking trampled to death. Or atleast they should have.

    November 26, 2010 at 8:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Richard

      Where would they get film for all the "I'm Stupid" TV shows?

      November 26, 2010 at 8:21 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Jason

    I've never participated in this madness, and never will. I exchange presents only with my immediate family and what we can't afford without going to extreme lengths to obtain, just do without. Just more worthless stuff to clutter our minds, closets and garages.

    November 26, 2010 at 8:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • CheleViajero


      November 26, 2010 at 8:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lori

      That is exactly what my family does. I just got the materials to make my grandson 10 sock puppets for Christmas and he will love them. Children don't need expensive toys, they need their families to take time with them.

      November 26, 2010 at 8:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pat in IL

      I agree. I haven't ever done this Black Friday shopping thing, but have been told that the super-good prices are limited to a few items that the stores have very few of. I think that for a lot of people it's more of a "game" than anything else. I can enjoy a day out with my family or best friends on another day that isn't so hysterical (and sometimes unsafe).

      November 26, 2010 at 8:58 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Monique

    Black Friday has nothing to do with the Christmas spirit of giving gifts, black friday is a joke and too many selfish people buy into it. I want to take my time to shop for my family and put thought into it.
    I have no sympathy for any of those people. You get trampled, well, what do you expect, rude people? Well, what do you expect? It's the best of human nature coming out. Put your purchases in your trunk and lock it, don't leave it on the seats where people can clearly see in, and definitely don't leave your car door unlocked, you do, it's your fault.

    November 26, 2010 at 8:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • hellae

      when I rob your house, that will be YOUR fault for having stuffsin YOUR house

      November 26, 2010 at 8:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Monique

      Wow hellae, what a stupid response

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

      yeah....stupid is as stupid does....

      November 26, 2010 at 8:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jim Morrison

      @hellae. When you get your head blown off while trying to rob somebodys house, that will be YOUR FAULT. SUPRISE !!!!!!!!!

      November 26, 2010 at 9:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • hellae

      I guess it is. But why so quick to use guns?

      November 26, 2010 at 9:11 pm | Report abuse |
  12. amy

    It is a dirty shame that this has to happen. I hope who ever stole the merchandise has trouble sleeping at night. Best Buy is not responsible for this but it would be nice to see Best Buy offer these ladies a replacement at no charge for what was stolen.................... !?!?!??!?!?!?!?

    November 26, 2010 at 8:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Idea

      If that's the case, I just bought stuff from Best Buy and it was stolen. I need to be reimbursed too.

      November 26, 2010 at 8:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • CheleViajero

      @Amy You're kidding right? What does Best Buy have to do with these chicks' greed and stupidity?

      November 26, 2010 at 8:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Richard

      Why? I'm sure the crooks had to wait 1/2 an hour for the dummies to come out with their stuff and leave it on the seat. Shouldn't they get something for their waiting?


      November 26, 2010 at 8:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • max

      It was Best Buy which stole the merchandise from these idiots to give to other idiots!

      November 26, 2010 at 8:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • DannyG

      Yeah right. That's not an invitation for fraudulent claims which (potentially) would cause additional costs handed down to the rest of us. Look, if you are stupid enough to buy electronics and leave them in plain sight, that's your problem. This also goes for idiots who park in adjacent parking lots and complain that they get towed. Don't tell me you had no idea this was someone else's lot. I don't buy it. Other businesses have customers and staff that need to be able to use those services. Here's a tip: One drives, one takes the list inside. Or, as stated previous, buy online.

      OK I'm done now. Bottom line, take responsibility for your own actions. Only after you do that can you complain.

      November 26, 2010 at 9:05 pm | Report abuse |
  13. TheFlintSkinny

    The people in the front really shouldn't have gone down. I wouldn't have. I've been pushed by mobs many times and stayed on my feet. It's survival of the fittest out there. And the woman who threatened to shoot a little girl? Good for you! Just because she's 6 doesn't mean she gets a free pass. You have to figure out how the world works someday. Plus, she shouldn't even be allowed in line unless she has the money to buy a suitable amount of goods.

    There was a day when I'd knock your kid down just to get a Tickle-Me Elmo. Now I just shop online like a normal person.

    November 26, 2010 at 8:09 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Wanda Rosario

    That's why last year I took myself out of the Christmas giving. I had a great time. Doing it again this year. Not putting myself through that mess of long lines, carrying packages & spending my hard earned money for just 1 day.

    November 26, 2010 at 8:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • youngone

      @ Wanda, We did the same. Our youngest is 14 and last year we told him Christmas was for family and we'd do presents after the holidays when everything would be on sale. He's very smart–in the gifted program at his school, and hubby and have our own (struggling) business. He understands the economy–from hearing our conversations, and he knows the stores are packed with inventory they haven't been able to move all year. We told him after Xmas he could get twice as much and we would be able to pay half as much. He LOVED it last year and we're looking forward to great sales this year!

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

    CNN send me the ladies information. I will give them a $1,000 gift certificate to

    November 26, 2010 at 8:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • wimmers

      Can I get one?

      November 26, 2010 at 10:51 pm | Report abuse |
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