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. stephen - nyc

    Wouldn't your homeowner insurance cover the theft? Granted, not the best solution, since the items are not going to be replaced with the $1,000 you might recover. Or what about the credit card you used? Some cards offer loss/theft coverage. And it's not like they are faking the theft?
    Ok, so that's enough of practical solutions. The other, more reasonable solution, is to do what others have said: Do it all online. That way you get to sleep Wed night and spend the holiday with your family indoors.
    Me, well, since I'm unemployed, I am not out shopping.

    November 26, 2010 at 10:00 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Pimpkin

    it's fixing to be a internet tradition if any @all

    November 26, 2010 at 10:00 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Mary

    Hey Hubert,

    I'm sure they aren't offended because, "African-Americans" know that Black Friday means a store will be in the Black, as in making a huge profit. Bless your heart.

    November 26, 2010 at 10:00 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Tyler

    Awesome! I love America. When it's time to round up for good old fashion population control...these folks should be first on the list.

    November 26, 2010 at 10:00 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Steve Fielder

    Retail stores that engage in hype to appeal to peoples' greed and encourage a "herd mentality" among their customers by allowing shoppers to line up for hours, even days, before events like Black Friday shouldn't be surprised when mayhem erupts. If you set the stage for disorder, don't be surprised when chaos results!

    November 26, 2010 at 10:01 pm | Report abuse |
  6. denise

    People are the worst kinds of animals.............

    November 26, 2010 at 10:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • malcolm

      i agree with you but only in really over crowded areas. 19 years in LA. I lived it. So I move to Iowa to get away from the rat race. No traffic. No idiots racing on the roads. People are not trying to beat the clock out here. Christmas is actually enjoyable out here. LA? Haha. Don't even get me started. Its not necessarily the people.

      November 26, 2010 at 10:21 pm | Report abuse |
  7. gqe11

    ughhh. so ghetto. people pushing through to get some target merchandise first? wow, really?

    November 26, 2010 at 10:02 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Chris S

    The absence of common decency is just another symptom of this country's slow slide into oblivion.

    November 26, 2010 at 10:03 pm | Report abuse |
  9. DrMabuse

    'Tis the season for greed, avarice, anger, cruelty, etc. Merry Christmas!

    November 26, 2010 at 10:03 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Antlers

    I'm sorry. I feel bad for these people. I really do. But you have to admit it's kind of humorous.

    November 26, 2010 at 10:04 pm | Report abuse |
  11. ChooChoo

    One more thing – the offenders were both black and white – bad manners happen in all races.

    November 26, 2010 at 10:04 pm | Report abuse |
  12. hurf durf

    Yo shoppers, there's this thing, and its called the internet. Maybe you've heard of it? Anyways, you can buy stuff from it, it involves no lines, and only requires you to wait a day or two for shipping.

    November 26, 2010 at 10:05 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Mall Rats

    Wait until today's black-friday shopper's kids are grown if you think this is bad.

    November 26, 2010 at 10:06 pm | Report abuse |
  14. c

    What pathetic behavior.
    I used to go shopping on Black Friday just for fun. It was NEVER, EVER like that. (then again, I never showed up anywhere in the middle of the night) But with all the things I have read over the years about such abhorrent behavior, I have opted to stay home and do something worth while. It just isn't worth it, and I don't wish to shoppe with vermin.

    November 26, 2010 at 10:07 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Chris

    The solution is simple.

    Don't shop for anything during this season except what you normally would during the other 11 months.

    I'm Pagan, and the rampant commercialism of Christmas still offends me deeply. You folks have all year to buy toys for your kids. If you need one day a year to "prove" to your kids or loved ones that you love them by spending lots of don't know what love really is.

    November 26, 2010 at 10:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brandi

      thank u I shop for deals all year long.

      November 26, 2010 at 10:24 pm | Report abuse |
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