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. Fallowt

    The whole concept is idiocy. Don't "buy" into it. Stay home. Have compassion for retail employees who are enslaved into this and have no holiday to enjoy.

    November 26, 2010 at 11:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • RetailBlues

      I was working on Thanksgiving in a grocery store. Probably half the people coming through my line said they were sorry I was working. Guess what? That's the worst lie ever. If you were so sorry you wouldn't be there. If very few people shopped that day then no one would be working because the store would loose money. So do us all a favor and don't try to pretend to be "sorry".

      November 27, 2010 at 12:32 am | Report abuse |
  2. Donewitdisstuff

    Wheres Marge Schott when you need her?

    November 26, 2010 at 11:35 pm | Report abuse |
  3. mechatronics

    Is anyone really shocked at their actions?

    November 26, 2010 at 11:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Eumir

      No it's greed.
      They call it lotsa other things but it's...

      November 27, 2010 at 12:03 am | Report abuse |
  4. Specter

    I hope T-Mobile fires Brian Fisher for being a jerk. T-Mobile had No specials they didn't need that space.

    November 26, 2010 at 11:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • steve

      so you would allow a stranger to just park in your driveway, right? It's their property!

      November 27, 2010 at 12:58 am | Report abuse |
  5. Fallowt

    I fit wasn't for stupid people, there would be no victims of crime....

    November 26, 2010 at 11:51 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Drew

    That T-Mobile store sounds like they CALLED the tow company to get those people out of there... T-Mobile should really pony up and pay for that.

    November 26, 2010 at 11:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • provelstinks

      Not surprising at all for St. Louis. I'm sure that the line was a mile long to get into the T-Mobile store...NOT. What a ridiculous thing to do.

      November 27, 2010 at 12:42 am | Report abuse |
    • Wow

      My husband used to work for a tow company. All they need is a contract with the business that states "unauthorized" hours, and they don't need a call to pick up. Odds are the towing companies were out patrolling their contracts last night/this morning.

      Black Friday is a towing company's Christmas.

      November 27, 2010 at 1:02 am | Report abuse |
    • steve

      Why? Isn't it their property? Do you allow strangers to park in your garage or driveway without your permissoin? stupid

      November 27, 2010 at 1:04 am | Report abuse |
  7. Pat

    Now you know why I avoid Black-and-Blue Friday. It turns into a shpper's Armageddon every year. I went to my local Best Buy today, and while fortunately nobody was racing around spitting or cussing or foaming at the mouth, the lines were long enough to make me glad I didn't have to buy anything. I usually wait for a few days before I have to make any purchases.

    As for the "people are stupid trash" comments, well, let's just say people are creatures of habit. If they've been conditioned enough over the years to follow "tradition" by camping out in front of a store on the Day After Thanksgiving, that's what they'll do, like it or not. Wiser people (yes, they do exist) realize that It takes something like having paid-for gifts jacked or being slammed to the floor and being trampled on (once of either is usually enough) to make one see that this particular "holiday tradition" isn't worth it. My advice? Do your holiday shopping in October. It may sound ridiculous, but it will save you a lot of headaches in the long run.

    And, Jess, don't be upset. Internet trolls are everywhere, so keep your chin up. 🙂

    November 26, 2010 at 11:56 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Ben

    Capitalism gone awry? Nah... just people being stupid. Every year these stories of "Black Friday" plague us, and we all hunch over and read about people being trampled, killed, arrested... all because they wanted to buy, buy, BUY, and couldn't get it quick enough. I'd say capitalism has achieved a new level, much like the snake that eats its own tail... what do you call that, the Ouroboros? Munching further and further, we nestle ourselves into this cyclical system of indebtedness, and forever after we shall be beholden to those who can keep supplying more crap for us to ingest. Bleh. I don't know why people even go shopping the day after Thanksgiving when they know how terrible it is. I don't know why people write stories about it. I don't know why people read it. I certainly don't know why I've even taken the time to comment on it. Let's just say we're in it, this Capitalistic Ouroboros... biting away. Who wins?

    November 26, 2010 at 11:57 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Tony

    Why are there so many negative people who comment on here?? lol. Relax already. Whats wrong with Black Friday? Let people shop and do what they want to do. Everyone just wants to criticize everything... Its too bad that some cowards stole from shoppers though.

    November 26, 2010 at 11:58 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Timmeh

    SAVING?? By spending money? That's idiotic. How bout let's jump off the holiday season crazy train and give time and love.

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

      Consumermas has long outlived its purpose.

      November 27, 2010 at 12:01 am | Report abuse |
  11. TheAdmiral

    We have become a wretched poor fighting for the scraps off the table.

    November 27, 2010 at 12:00 am | Report abuse |
  12. AllTyme

    This is why I'm glad I don't have kids yet. When I do, I'm doing all my shopping ONLINE!!

    How many soccer moms got they stuff jacked out their minivans and H2 hummers today?

    November 27, 2010 at 12:07 am | Report abuse |
  13. jose

    People why do you do this to yourself? Get a life!

    November 27, 2010 at 12:09 am | Report abuse |
  14. OneWayOut is doing great deals all week long until next Sunday. Everything from clothing to electronics.

    November 27, 2010 at 12:10 am | Report abuse |
  15. Randall

    A nation of buffaloes and sheep.

    November 27, 2010 at 12:10 am | Report abuse |
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