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. Alan

    Store Budget 900,000 margin -74,000 Black Friday my A**

    November 26, 2010 at 9:43 pm | Report abuse |
  2. OnTheFence

    I think it is small-minded to call someone stupid for shopping on Black Friday. It is all in the spirit it is done in. Yes, there are greedy, rude people out there, pushing people, cutting in line etc., but not everyone is like that. Sometimes it is simply friends on a shopping adventure, getting good deals and having fun.

    November 26, 2010 at 9:43 pm | Report abuse |
  3. SF Guy

    Americans are the lowest of the low. Happy Holidays!

    November 26, 2010 at 9:43 pm | Report abuse |
  4. lilsfgal

    I opted to shop online and pick up a few things downtown. Much more peaceful.

    November 26, 2010 at 9:43 pm | Report abuse |
  5. JT

    Most of these losers have credit card debt they can't pay at the same time compliant about no money to send their kids to college but they have time to stand in line for a week to buy things they don't need.

    November 26, 2010 at 9:48 pm | Report abuse |
  6. CaptainObvious

    It's called Black Friday (echo) because it's when the stores go from losing money (being in the red) to making money (being in the black). With all the ugliness that goes on they should change it to Dead Trashy Pigs Friday. I only buy a few nice gifts for family and would rather pay a few more bucks for the privilege to not get sandwiched between people who smell like tacos and Busch Light. I shake my head in amazement sometimes.

    November 26, 2010 at 9:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • a white guy


      November 26, 2010 at 10:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • merry

      rofl...... I heard horror stories about the drunks in line. They hadn't even slept yet. I'm with you Captain. I'll pay a bit more for civility.

      November 26, 2010 at 11:22 pm | Report abuse |
  7. merry

    I got up at 3am, not to shop (as no amount of savings is worth that nonsense) but to serve coffee to those insane crowds. I was looking forward to the start of the Holiday Season. After about an hour, I was sooooo over it. Rude, rude, rude, rude, rude. Where is everyone's holiday cheer and good tidings? Those shopping should be thankful that they have money to shop with and not be so rude to the people who are simply trying to feed their families.

    November 26, 2010 at 9:49 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Bob

    Same crap every year lets act like morons so we can get those brats some more crap they dont need then they take them shopping with them and there screaming the whole time our society has turned into a land of greed and not giving a sh-t about no but there own greed what a bunch of pathetic turds

    November 26, 2010 at 9:49 pm | Report abuse |
  9. midnitejax

    I guess they haven't heard the "You better watch out, you better not shout, you better watch out i'm telling you why.....'cause Santa Claus is coming to town" .

    November 26, 2010 at 9:50 pm | Report abuse |
  10. jake

    These are the same people saying they need food stamps, welfare, and free school lunchs to take care of their kids but always manage to have flat screen tvs, new cell phones, and fancy sneakers.

    November 26, 2010 at 9:51 pm | Report abuse |
  11. MatchCard

    That is low... people behave like animals around these times. As you get closer to Christmas things get uglier—the opposite of what you would expect I guess.

    November 26, 2010 at 9:53 pm | Report abuse |
  12. moi

    Somehow the most disturbing part of this story, to me, was the irresponsibility of shoppers. If you buy a PS3 and get your car towed and have to sell the PS3 to be able to afford the car towing fee, you probably shouldn't be out buying PS3s in the first place! The irresponsibility of some people is amazing. I go by the "don't buy one if you can't afford to buy two" rule for everything I purchase.

    November 26, 2010 at 9:55 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Mark

    No, the name comes from the police officers in Philadelphia, who in the 60's coined the term due to the horrific foot and car traffic on the day after Thanksgiving.

    People want to believe it's because businesses go "in the black," but that's not the case.

    November 26, 2010 at 9:56 pm | Report abuse |
  14. yobro

    You just gotta love this. What pathetic morons!

    November 26, 2010 at 9:57 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Frankie Sweep

    There's a reason it's called "black friday," and it has nothing to do with profits...

    November 26, 2010 at 9:59 pm | Report abuse |
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