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. Lawrence Lugar

    Black Friday is crazy, not the deals – they're not That good...but the shoppers, they are just crazy.

    The mob is a ticking time bomb, they can go off anytime.
    It's not a place for the faint of heart.

    PS. check ebay and can get these same black friday deals everyday, maybe even cheaper.

    I'm Lawrence Lugar, and that's what I'm about.

    November 26, 2010 at 10:08 pm | Report abuse |
  2. MDH60613

    Anyone ever heard of Free shipping on orders over $25, and no sales tax. That's my version of Black Friday.

    November 26, 2010 at 10:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • a white guy

      I bet you bough that instruction manual for pedophiles from amazon too didn't you? You smart shopping sympathizer of sickness and wickedness.

      November 26, 2010 at 10:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • a white guy


      November 26, 2010 at 10:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Larry

      White are truly a dip sh!t.

      November 27, 2010 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
  3. tel

    Of the million of good aspects that CNN could report about today -your losey staff headlines and and shows pics of 2 infinitesmal bad events. Why oh Why????? I'm not in favor of this corporate madness that big merchants put Americans through, but if it is the event, so then journalism should focus on the important parts , not lead off with the negative.!!!!

    November 26, 2010 at 10:11 pm | Report abuse |
  4. malcolm

    it all depends where you live. i was raised in LA and SD – 19 years – and avoided the roads during this time of year out there. After moving to Iowa, I can drive anywhere I want and shop – even today – at a nice mall and it wasn't all that busy. People out here where actually helping each other lift and move packages. Out in LA? The only time my neighbor helped me move anything was when he helped his friends take 8K worth of musical equipment from my garage.

    November 26, 2010 at 10:11 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Diana


    November 26, 2010 at 10:14 pm | Report abuse |
  6. leee

    Totally not worth THAT! I'll buy online while in my PJ's with my cup of coffee.

    November 26, 2010 at 10:15 pm | Report abuse |
  7. jj

    It's called Black friday because this is the biggest point of sales revenue for retailers. The sales numbers bring them out of the "red" zone into the "black"...meaning they are now making profit.

    November 26, 2010 at 10:16 pm | Report abuse |
  8. me

    Me & my family went to the black Friday sale and had an absolute blast! Walmart had everything very well organized and since they actually started the majority of the sale at midnight, when the 5am electronics sale started no one was pushing or shoving to get in b/c everyone was already inside. I got my big screen tv and checked out in less than 30 minutes!

    November 26, 2010 at 10:16 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Dave

    These people are truly disgusting...

    November 26, 2010 at 10:18 pm | Report abuse |
  10. JR

    I'm quite happy to not live in America

    November 26, 2010 at 10:18 pm | Report abuse |
  11. just in

    Gun toten republicans you animals you

    November 26, 2010 at 10:20 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Brandi

    Honeslty I think the media and the stores like the attention black friday gets.. I went to one at a walmart in memphis when I lived there d it was really organized. It was so shocking how organized it was. They handed out numbers for all of the electronics so no one could cut line and grab your stuff..Who got there first got what they needed without fighting and pushing... Too many people are getting hurt for this nonsense just to save a couple of bucks. We paid for our electronics at the register, showed our tickets to the pick up spot at the side of the store and went home happy.

    November 26, 2010 at 10:20 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Rhiannon

    Did mine in the summer. No crowds, no hassles. Thanksgiving is to precious to waste time in the store sand malls.

    November 26, 2010 at 10:22 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Rick

    "I wanted to get my kid a toy she wanted for Christmas so I cut in line and threatened to kill people." Nice way to celebrate the birthday of Jesus, don't you think? This, ladies and gents, is what you call "human debris."

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

    Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait. Ok............ok...ok wait. Soooo people camp out for "days" to save maybe 1-300 dollars total if that on merchandise, when they could work during those days and just buy it almost as cheap online?And don't say " they are no jobs" around the holidays theres alwyas part time, and even odd jobs to do, im not talking about a career job here, must be us Americans " aversion to work".

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