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. Thatguy371

    Ridiculous custom people have gotten into, and sad that some thugs would steal someone's purchases. Hopefully, people will get away from this insane habit of going shopping on black friday. Start shopping a little at a time earlier in the year. Then you'd be done by black friday.

    November 27, 2010 at 2:40 am | Report abuse |
  2. Jups

    I am going to camp outside best buy tonight, with some hot cocoa and a psp in my hand in anticipation of black friday 2011...woohoooo. Hopefully i will be the first to get inside, so i can buy the new 6-D, intergalactical, digitally enhanced flat screen TV that is on sale for 3% off....I cant wait!

    November 27, 2010 at 2:42 am | Report abuse |
  3. PPM32

    Unbelievable. Ok, so on the day Americans "celebrate" Thanksgiving (the meal shared with Native Americans after raping and pillaging their people) and the day we're supposed to give thanks for what we have, people take it literally (material goods) and CAMP OUTSIDE STORES and WASTE almost 2 days to buy useless gizmos & gadgets that will probably be obsolete before the first batch of next year's T'giving Turkeys are bred? ONE WORD: MORONS! It's sad that clamoring for inanimate objects takes precedence over spending time with family, friends & loved ones. When the kids end up in Juvenile Hall or some real family crisis such as an illness or death in the family comes around will they still think about shopping or getting the best deal? Time is precious. Don't waste it by standing in line. Here's a tip: shop online. Ebay has endless sales and deals year-round!

    November 27, 2010 at 2:47 am | Report abuse |
  4. Ha ha

    T-Mobile I was not their, but you just lost another customer.

    November 27, 2010 at 2:47 am | Report abuse |
  5. Jeff

    Only in the U.S. do we see such behavior, year after year. Pathetic.

    November 27, 2010 at 2:52 am | Report abuse |
  6. mrrusss

    Good to see that consumer electronics are still worth fighting for.

    November 27, 2010 at 2:54 am | Report abuse |
  7. Bill from SoCal

    It seems every year the worst stories of violence come from Wal-Mart and this year appears to be no exception. Says something about the kind of crowd their stores attract.

    At the end of the day, it's just materials, people. Things. You would think the holidays would give people a greater perspective of that fact, but apparently not.

    November 27, 2010 at 3:00 am | Report abuse |
  8. Name*Ashley


    November 27, 2010 at 3:15 am | Report abuse |
  9. Patricia

    Is it really worth it? Every year it seems to be getting worse. It's pretty sad when people are concerned more about material things then they are about the well being of others. And regardless of anyones carelessness or lack of fore thought, no one deserves to have their things stolen. It's not the person being stolen from that's in the wrong, it's the thief.

    November 27, 2010 at 3:26 am | Report abuse |
  10. Bibur

    Jesus people! When did having to have an inadamit object become worth so much anger, and violence! How about giving a true gift from your heart, HUG someone and tell them how much they mean to you and how much you love them. It will mean and last a hell of alot longer than a PS3.

    November 27, 2010 at 3:45 am | Report abuse |
  11. jivv

    The only thing I can see from the video is, for the most part, largely obese people exercising bad judgment. They spend more than 10 hours, away from their family/kids, just to buy a piece of plastic (and some Silicon) that most of the time glows and/or produces some sort of sound (wow, what a great goal in life).

    They obviously consume cheap food (most of them end up with diabetes, but with a large TV piece on the wall) and don't seem to care for their future, only short-term reward (how much your time is worth?, 10 hrs in a line to save less than 100 dollars, nice math). They park their cars where they are not supposed to, they leave it full of merchandise in a rough area, just to keep on shopping.

    This is looking sadder by the day. They kicker is that this is the same people that, when asked, say that we live in the "Greatest Country in the World", seriously......

    November 27, 2010 at 3:48 am | Report abuse |
    • htdtntnrrr

      I love how "rough area" is a euphemism for neighborhood full of darkies

      November 27, 2010 at 5:35 am | Report abuse |
  12. Poly-Sci

    The sad part is, most of their kids will be dead, pregnant, or a empty shells of people like these parents within a few years.

    November 27, 2010 at 4:09 am | Report abuse |
  13. Jason Basinurhead

    To the people who stated these shoppers deserve misfortune on BF!! You are why I own 10 guns from hand guns to assualt rifles and everything in between. You think you can abuse innocent people huh? You think you are so enlightened and better than everyone else huh? Come get it bub. Bull3tt in the h3ad. : )

    November 27, 2010 at 4:25 am | Report abuse |
  14. sean


    Americans (I am one) have got to be the greatest example (in the "free" world) of programmed drones. B.F. Skinner, thank you sir, operant conditioning DOES work.
    What a sad sad sooo many ways.

    November 27, 2010 at 4:35 am | Report abuse |
  15. Reality Check

    These hateful comments simply serve to illustrate just how hypocritical most people are. Hate and dismissive behavior create these shopping incidences. Which in turn, illicit hateful, scornful, and dismissive comments. Not that I really agree with standing on-line for hours, but most that did, did it without incidence -and that their right.

    As far as those that feel it's should be stopped, many job are supported by this one day frenzy, and not just retail jobs, logistics,marketing, product design, media, advertising, printing press operators, towing companies, gas stations, car companies (got to carry the booty home somehow), and now maybe healthcare provides, all benfit.

    It's called Black Friday because consumer product companies finally start to see a profit (or black ink instead of red), thus, their ability to contract support services is maintained. Bottom-line, there are many other types of businesses that depend on the veraciousness of the consumer on this day. Maybe even your job.

    The corporatocracy, that we all have created, has been freely given the power we once held. So blame yourselves for this mess of a day.

    Personally I went to Macy's (in the afternoon) and got some sweet discounts on a outfit to wear to interviews, now if I could just get one.

    November 27, 2010 at 4:39 am | Report abuse |
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