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. Matt

    These women CAMPED OUT for a day & a half?!?! Over Thanksgiving no less?!? So they chose sleeping on a sidewalk over sitting down with their families for a holiday meal??? I'm sorry, they may not have deserved to get robbed, but they certainly are some kind of STUPID! Idiots! This country can be downright EMBARRASSING at times. "Black Friday" brings out the worst & the ugliness in American society. What a joke.

    November 27, 2010 at 9:08 am | Report abuse |
    • Michael

      There was a man at my local Best Buy who camped outside the store since Sunday.

      November 27, 2010 at 10:51 am | Report abuse |
  2. seriously?

    ah american consumerism... i feel like i'm watching good old monday night raw.. bunch of idiots

    November 27, 2010 at 9:10 am | Report abuse |
  3. x13

    It is distgusting seeing how extreme materialism and consumerism can make people so barbaric! Its a shame that these people make others believe that it is our human nature to act this way, when really they are all just consumed in their own materialistic worlds. People are forgetting the true meaning of Christmas and are too preoccupied by things that shouldn't matter.

    November 27, 2010 at 9:10 am | Report abuse |
  4. RoboSecurityGuard

    Internet tough guys and racists should be castrated to prevent further spreading of their cowardice. None of you keyboard commandos will say anything to anyone's face who could kick your ace, so you act out your inner tough guy here in complete safety. Pansies.

    November 27, 2010 at 9:13 am | Report abuse |
    • Paul Blart, Mall Cop


      Don't we work together? I think we do. Your that guy who could not get a real law enforcement job so you went to work at the mall. Yeah, yeah...thats you. I do know you. You always call for back up when ever the person you have to deal with is over 11.

      November 27, 2010 at 10:14 am | Report abuse |
    • auguron

      Hypocrisy, thy name is Robo...

      November 27, 2010 at 10:37 am | Report abuse |
  5. Jenny

    I wasn't planning to do any Black Friday shopping at all. However, I had to go to the store to get some milk and bread so I picked up a "Thursday Only" sales ad. In the ad was a winter coat for $10. My daughter needed a winter coat so I bought it. Sometimes, the Black Friday or Thanksgiving sales ads actually have great deals for items that people, like me, need. As far as purchasing all kinds of electronics, toys, etc...I have no comment. I suppose if that is the way people wish to spend their money, then so be it. I can't judge people based on "Black Friday" shopping.

    Anyway, that's my $.02 worth!

    November 27, 2010 at 9:15 am | Report abuse |
    • crad88

      Its funny how everyone says "you shouldnt be out waiting in lines, stay at home and celebrate thanksgiving." Yeah, lets celebrate the genocide of a people. Indian removal act of 1820 anyone

      November 27, 2010 at 11:50 am | Report abuse |
    • ME

      crad. This is 2010 and what's done is done. How long do you want us to feel guilty?

      November 28, 2010 at 7:59 am | Report abuse |
  6. RoboSecurityGuard

    The best get rich quick scheme is to sell something that "instructs" others on how to get rich. Lmao! What ever happened to going to school for a degree in a high paying field? Oh wait that involves commitment and hard work.

    November 27, 2010 at 9:16 am | Report abuse |
  7. RoboSecurityGuard

    Wow look at all the people who commented on here. Post a story about an issue that's vital for all of our lives and nobody has a solution nor an opinion. Post a story about idiot shoppers and everyone is a sociologist.

    November 27, 2010 at 9:20 am | Report abuse |
    • auguron

      Again with the hypocrisy.

      November 27, 2010 at 11:01 am | Report abuse |
  8. seriously?

    i think companies and corporations like Apple, who come out with all these little gadgets and hype it up to teens and kids should be held to some accountability... i've never bought an ipod ipad icrap or anything from Apple and i have't lost and sleep.. when i'm out and about, i want to hear and talk to those around me.. not look like a drone with wires going to my head as a bus comes speeding towards me... i celebrate christmas, but i've never felt the need to have this or that.. this is where the problem lies.. the meaning of christmas and what we expect from it... peace and goodwill or Wiis and Ipads? think hard abot it... which of these is an idea or item that existed at thebirth of Christ? i'm not pious and i don't attend church... but yet i still no more abot christmas then most of you americans...

    November 27, 2010 at 9:20 am | Report abuse |
    • ME

      Why not hold the parents accountable? I love my iPod, but I'd never buy it for a child or a teenager. Kids don't need "toys" that cost hundreds of dollars and parents don't have to buy them.

      November 28, 2010 at 8:00 am | Report abuse |
  9. Karen

    It is sad to see the ugliness of our nature come out for something so insignificant as Black Friday. I've never participated in this because I personally have no desire to help the stores come out of the red by placing myself into the red. The sales being advertised are about the same that we consumers see all year. It is unfortunate that people are victims of theft or having had a vehicle towed. But these events happen every single year. As my mother would say "fool me once, then shame on you; however fool me twice then that shames on me." If you don't know what that saying means then I'll explain. Black Friday happens every year along with all these horrid tales of theft, murder by trampling and car towing. So the only person to blame if and when these events happen to you is you. Why invovle yourself in Black Friday when those same sales are going to be there a week from that day?

    November 27, 2010 at 9:22 am | Report abuse |
  10. Old Fool

    From stem to stern this article and the overwhelming number of comments are indicitive of a society in decline. We as a people tend to love a good cattle call. The majority of the people are given a day off to shop, motivated by advertisements, whipped into submission by their children who have bought into the advertising with near religious ferver (as in, If I dont get that cabbage patch doll for Christmas I am going to die) and led through the cattle chute of a single day of "incredible bargains" all for what we believe to be the common good. If we put this much energy and thought into election day we would be in much better shape. But we are a society in decline. Not gonna happen.

    November 27, 2010 at 9:25 am | Report abuse |
    • Doogie

      I wonder if there has ever been a socio-economic study done on the people that get involved in the black friday craze? I'm wondering if it's not the same people that the government is able to buy votes from. The ones that are so confused you see them at rallies chanting "Death to capitalism", and then in line the next week for black friday because of all the great deals!! lol

      November 27, 2010 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |
  11. vashts

    I work retail and have done black Friday for 9 years now. I wish like crazy that customers and the companies conducting black Friday sales considered the associates. We bust our humps to get them profit and the customer a deal and we miss out on time with our families and good deals.

    November 27, 2010 at 9:26 am | Report abuse |
  12. seriously?

    the problem isn't black friday or saving money.. its the meaning of christmas and the kidnapping of your saviour by corporations.. he's got to be the BEST spokesperson of all time.. and he's been doing it for free.. Praise Jebus

    November 27, 2010 at 9:27 am | Report abuse |
  13. Phil

    The article focused on a Shereece, Lavorn and Lanessa?....say know more.


    November 27, 2010 at 9:28 am | Report abuse |
    • kmnecole

      If you're going to make a ridiculous, racist response, at least have the decency to spell correctly- and not make yourself look anymore ridiculous.

      In this instance, the correct term would be 'say no more'- not 'say know more'

      -but then again, given the ridiculous response, could correct spelling really be expected of you?

      Old adage revised: "Better to be thought a fool, than to type a ridiculous blog comment and remove all doubt"

      November 27, 2010 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • ME

      kmnecole, poor spelling aside, are you seriously going to pretend those aren't obviously black names? If anything, the person writing the article should have searched for more diversity.

      November 28, 2010 at 8:01 am | Report abuse |
    • Rocky

      Again, white sheets are a fashion faux pas. They make you look fat and stupid.

      November 28, 2010 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
  14. Siege

    Ms. Lattimore cracks me up.

    "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.

    Like the other thousands of people weren't out doing the shopping craziness wanting the same thing? Why are there always some people who think the rules don't apply to them? Ms. Lattimore also says she is not a violent person but also says yes, she did threaten to shoot someone.

    November 27, 2010 at 9:33 am | Report abuse |
  15. Gummyroach

    Happy Thanks GIMME! 'Tis the season to be greedy!

    November 27, 2010 at 9:35 am | Report abuse |
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