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. Chinese

    Tsk! crazy americans...

    November 26, 2010 at 10:56 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Zachary

    Wasn't there a Walmart employee whom was trampled to death a few years back because of an unorganized stampede once the store opened.

    November 26, 2010 at 11:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Annie

      Are there organized stampedes?

      November 26, 2010 at 11:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • luis

      LOL, that's an oxymoron 😀

      November 27, 2010 at 1:11 am | Report abuse |
  3. TeeJay

    I was running a cash register this a.m. for a big box store, and wish I wasn't. It pays my bills, barely, otherwise I wouldn't have been out today @ all. I have been yelled at, cursed, and spat on. I don't make the rules, so don't blame me if we run out of the item you want. I just work there. Yeah, try smiling and being pleasant thru all that to keep a lousy paying job because you can't find one better. Thank you and Merry Christmas!

    November 26, 2010 at 11:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • liz58736

      Sorry you had to experience that....most of the people I ran into were friendly and good natured

      November 27, 2010 at 3:07 am | Report abuse |
  4. goneballistic

    Watch out for that heard of wild Griswald!

    November 26, 2010 at 11:08 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Shane

    WARNING TO BLACK FRIDAY SHOPPERS! It is not worth the hassle, time, or effort to deal with the unruly shoppers, stores that "bait-n-switch" (Walmart, Target), or inventory limited to so few items that they are gone after the first twenty shoppers (Target, Walmart). From 3 am to 4 am I waited patiently, orderly at the Manassas, VA Target only to find that MOST ALL the "Doorbuster" items were only numbering about twenty to thiry – which were gone in seconds by individuals buying upwards of six items at a time. One woman had each of her six children (probably not hers) – "purchse" the Westinghouse 40-inch LCD TV – which she obviously took six of the only twenty LCD TVs the store actually had. So, my advice: It is just not worth the wait, hassle, and money (NO SAVINGS AT WALMART OR TARGET since they are INCREASING prices – to lower them and call it "sale".

    November 26, 2010 at 11:08 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Shawn Marie Hardy

    I'm with Patrick (for his post on Nov. 26th at 9:34 p.m.)! Couldn't have said it any better myself. And to A White Guy, and all the other small-minded bigots posting here, this is not a black/white thing...just watch this video

    November 26, 2010 at 11:09 pm | Report abuse |
  7. TH3

    Should of shopped online, same sales... for example Amazon woke up late got the same stuff as someone that had camped out since wednesday.

    ...and all white people are not stupid. You cannot generalize an entire race and all say they all have the quality.

    November 26, 2010 at 11:13 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Cpt Freakout

    Ahh consumerism we just have to endanger the health and safety of others for some overpriced excess, if we cant behave in a civilised manner then its time for a rethink about christmas as a legal holiday ,or authorize the use of force including lethal in crowd control if people are going to behave in that manner for mindless garbage then they deserve it.

    November 26, 2010 at 11:16 pm | Report abuse |
  9. kabuli5

    For starters, why exactly did they leave their things in the car? A place where you are continually WARNED by authorities NEVER to leave anything of value.

    November 26, 2010 at 11:17 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Brad

    Humans are trash – this just proves it. 🙂 The 10 commandments are only useful when you're preaching to someone. Haha.

    November 26, 2010 at 11:24 pm | Report abuse |
  11. jay

    Idiot shoppers buying stuff they don't need.... Consumer culture at its best

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

    You won't have to deal with waiting in long lines outside in the freezing cold if you were rich. If you were rich, Black Fridays meaningless to you. Money = Happiness.

    November 26, 2010 at 11:27 pm | Report abuse |
  13. AJHinMN

    I admit that I do the Black Friday thing. I have a 3 year old son and about the only way I can provide a decent Christmas for him is to go out when the toys I'd like to get him are so cheap. (I also pick up a few things for Toys for Tots) I rarely get any "big ticket" items. But, I won't wait in line for days or push someone out of the way to get something my kid wants. The store I go to every year is actually very well organized and everyone is civil. I have never seen people getting shoved, or people fighting. If anything, the things I see are people helping other people out, waiting in lines for other people, giving items that may have run out to people who came in too late... Yeah, you run into the occasional rude person, but you do that anytime you shop anyway.

    November 26, 2010 at 11:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Shawn Marie Hardy

      This is the problem–that people feel that celebrating Christmas is about spending lots of money on their kids. Why do people feel they have to spend so much on gifts? I am a single parent with a twelve-year-old and a very small income. We have very modest gifts that we usually buy at antique shops, thrift stores, and online...little things that are inexpensive, but fun. The things I buy are all quality items and unique, and INEXPENSIVE. All those gifts you all buy for everyone get dropped off at the Goodwill or sold at their garage sales to people like me, and I don't even have to go near a mall at Christmas time. I just sit back and watch the news and see how the brainwashed consumers waste their hard-earned money just to feed the corporate pocketbooks. Good for you....perfect for me!

      November 26, 2010 at 11:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • liz58736

      @Shawn Marie Hardy

      I'm so glad to know you are thrifty on your limited income. I am also a single parent and on a limited income. I did do Black Friday, and bought items that would be of use for a long time coming. Yes alot of people are crazed by the electronic deals, but none of the items I purchased were electronics, just good deals that were needed and/or wanted that I know would be of good use.

      Don't pass judgment on all, yes many were out there ready to shed blood for their 42 inch flat screen but some of us were just out there finding good deals on quality items their kids will play with for a long time.

      Good luck to you in finding great deals this season and hope you have a great holiday season 🙂

      November 27, 2010 at 3:17 am | Report abuse |
  14. redredcat

    an african american got put in jail in indianapolis at wal-mart guess for what? cutting in line than had a smarta** mouth about it. when i worked at a school andwould be in lunchroom i will say that it seems to be that african americans think they can "cut in line" they did it more than i ever seen anyone/race had . seems they either think they have the right to or that they can scare people to do this , now when they did fight they're was always a bunch of them against one white kid so then next time people would just let it happen. i don't understand this and its just something i noticed

    November 26, 2010 at 11:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Daryn

      I find that pounding a line-cutter's head into the register counter is the best way to "remind" them to use their manners and mind their place. Cut in front of me and you won't get your shopping done today, tomorrow, or in a week, you'll be recovering at the hospital. I prefer to be gentle and polite, but, if you really feel the need to test me, you'll eat through a tube for a few weeks.

      Of course, I avoid the black friday nonsense because I don't celebrate Consumermas. I celebrate the Solstice with good food and good friends around a nice fire. I'm no christian, but didn't peace and love and family used to play a part in your winter holiday celebrations? When did you guys trade in jesus for full-contact shopping and a tickle-me-elmo doll?

      November 26, 2010 at 11:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • The Dude

      This is generally referred to as "the white man's burden".

      November 27, 2010 at 12:38 am | Report abuse |
  15. Santa Claus

    Merry Christmas y'all. I love to celebrate the birthday of our savior with a good old fashion human stampede in an effort to spend too much money on a child of mine.

    November 26, 2010 at 11:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Daryn

      Throw an elbow for jesus!

      November 26, 2010 at 11:59 pm | Report abuse |
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