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. Nick

    You people make me sick. You all buy presents for your spoiled ass kids and forget that your buying into a commercialized holiday. If the stores didn't attract you retards that come there like animals, this wouldn't even happen. I hope you spend time with you kids and the rest of your family and explain to them the true meaning of Christmas. And I don't just mean the religious aspect of it. Do things as a family. But you all are to busy to because you are just buying everything for them so they can be the popular ones in school with the latest and greatest, lavish things. You flock to a sale faster than a fly on s-! You are all pathetic

    November 27, 2010 at 9:37 am | Report abuse |
  2. mandersonfirefighter

    ok lets see i bought my duaghter the new xbox360/with a bundle package for 199.00
    normal price would have been close to 400.00 and you all are saying im white trash ect for shopping on black friday
    1 my husband and i make 90.000 a year.
    2 my daughter is on the basketball team,vollyball team ,and tutors other kids when she is not at practic or at a game
    3 when at home she is doing chores and taking care of her horse and other animals
    4 she is also a cadet on my fire department
    and 5 last but not least she is only 12 years old
    so maybe ya might want to get off the white trash crap saving money now days is a good thing

    November 27, 2010 at 9:41 am | Report abuse |
    • Jennah

      Mandersonfirefighter. You don't owe an explanation to anyone. Although I just could not shop on black friday (too crazy for me) I agree saving money ESPECIALLY these days is smart.

      November 27, 2010 at 9:56 am | Report abuse |
    • auguron

      Personally it's not just that day, but any day that I shop that I prefer online shopping just to avoid the crazies.

      November 27, 2010 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |
    • Doogie

      The people that say "white trash" are just racists so don't expect a rational discussion, just ignore them. You can shop whenever you want and buy whatever you want. That's the great thing about freedom. I don't buy into all the hyped commercialism and see through the marketing schemes, but I buy christmas gifts just like the next person and I live on a budget. So getting a great deal is a good thing for me too. That being said, not all of the black friday offers are good deals at all, some are borderline rip-offs.

      November 27, 2010 at 11:17 am | Report abuse |
    • ME

      mandersonfirefighter, white trash is not an income, it is a state of mind. As long as you use the grammar of a challenged eight year old, you aren't going to convince anyone that you are high society.

      November 28, 2010 at 8:03 am | Report abuse |
  3. HongKongCharlie

    The most frightening thing I can think of this story. These people vote!

    November 27, 2010 at 9:44 am | Report abuse |
    • Old Fool

      Sorry, Charlie, my guess is that most of them dont vote. But if they do they are driven by the same instinct that makes them shop.

      November 27, 2010 at 11:25 am | Report abuse |
  4. Mookah

    I think the black friday shopping should be banned! It gets worse and worse every year.

    November 27, 2010 at 9:46 am | Report abuse |
  5. proud back woman

    U all are crazy! dont blame americans for trying to get things @ discount prices, blame the retailers for having limited items available just on black friday. U peolpe who make racist remarks discuss me. havent u gotten over that phase yet? we have a black president running our country and doing a damn good job. Everyone needs to stop judging peolpe on what makes their life comfortable and for me its having a beautiful home filled with family and things i enjoy such as flat screen tv's on the walls in every room. and if u feel like u cant afford the things that go on sale dont knock everyone else that can.

    November 27, 2010 at 9:50 am | Report abuse |
    • garden for me

      What do you think "Black Friday" stands for? If it is what I think you think, you have GOT to be kidding.

      November 27, 2010 at 10:03 am | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      Classic ignorant narcissist, go ahead, look it up.

      November 27, 2010 at 10:36 am | Report abuse |
  6. Maria

    Wow ppl just go crazy. Thats why I dont like going to black friday. You can avoid the drama and shop another day. Of course you get less of a discount, but at least you are not part of a mob.

    November 27, 2010 at 9:50 am | Report abuse |
  7. cat

    Retailers have managed to ruin this holiday also. Now the Thanksgiving dinner will be rushed so people can get in line. Or like the article the women were there since Wednesday, so not sit down dinner for them. I don't think it's deals we are to be thankful for.

    November 27, 2010 at 9:54 am | Report abuse |
    • mickfu

      Blame the retailers all you want. Ultimately, it's the shoppers' lack of civility that gives Black Friday its deserving name. We have the freewill to NOT participate, no matter the prices. I go out every year, but wait until later in the day. Yes – I miss the killer deals (I will sleep fine), but II know my limits. If I have been standing in line for hours and some AH, who thinks their reason for being in line is more important than mine, cuts in front of me in line – you can bet there is going to be a problem. Choose to avoid the aggravation and idiocy.

      November 27, 2010 at 11:19 am | Report abuse |
  8. ColoradoMom

    We went out on Black Friday, but not until 8:30 a.m. Still got a great deal on a camera at Target, two toys for our 15-month-old daughter and a few other deals. We keep the gifts to a minimum for our families (2 to 3 max with spending limits of $50 per person). We didn't experience rude or pushy people, but we probably missed the brunt of the chaos. It was honestly a leisurely, fun morning for us and we saved some money. We're by no means poor (our combined household income is over $100k), but if we can save some money on gifts, why not? I don't buy into the whole hype of electronics and such; we spend our money wisely and sparingly on gifts but we enjoy giving to others who have given to us (our families). We'll probably do the rest of our shopping online. No matter how cheap an item is, you can't pay me to stand in line in the cold or get pushed and shoved to buy it. Christmas, after all, is not about gifts; it's about spending time with family and giving to others.

    Besides, I'm seeing a lot of deals online – most with free shipping. Stay home, shop, sip on tea and relax and save your sanity and your limbs. 🙂

    November 27, 2010 at 9:58 am | Report abuse |
  9. Online Shopper

    Typical blacks

    November 27, 2010 at 10:00 am | Report abuse |
    • Old Fool

      You are the problem. One line, no sense. Ignorance is bliss, isnt it?

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

      Why would you even say something like that? Human nature is not bound by color. I know self-centered jerks that are black, white, indian, asian, mexican, etc., etc..... To assign one of the negative aspects of human nature to a specific group of people is just demonstrating one of the OTHER negative aspects of humanity. Be better than that.

      November 27, 2010 at 11:39 am | Report abuse |
  10. Dave

    These are the same jerks who DEMAND people say "merry christmas" and get offended by "happy holidays", the same people who say silly little rhymes like"keep christ in christmas", and "jesus is the reason for the season". Narcissitic, greddy, PIGS is all you are. Is this what the gates of "heaven" look like you little pigs? You deserve getting trampled, when you're still injured 6 months from now, and your kid don't care about that toy, or you gained so much weight you can't fit into your clothes you just HAD to have at a discount, or that cheap PC you bought is broke, I for one, will have NO sympathy for you. HAPPY HOLIDAYS.

    November 27, 2010 at 10:01 am | Report abuse |
    • auguron

      Notice how they oh so conveniently leave all civility at the door whenever material goods are involved. Now, watch them all on Sunday, spouting the same drivel about Solstice like they always do. Oh, and they'll also conveniently forget how barbaric they were in public and will call you heathen when you call them out on it. So much for morals eh?

      Happy holidays!

      November 27, 2010 at 10:36 am | Report abuse |
  11. Jennah

    I do believe that Christmas is a holiday for commercialism. When I was a little girl I asked my mom ... why do I get presents if it's Jesus' birthday. She got very angry lol and didn't know what to say so she was like... WELL if you don't believe you should get presents anymore then I guess I'll take you presents out from under the tree. I quickly changed my view point on that subject. LOL. Most holidays are for commercialism. Everyone from Halmark to the dollar tree profits. People love to give presents to loved ones and businesses take full advantage of that.

    November 27, 2010 at 10:09 am | Report abuse |
  12. Karen

    Edwin in defense of the comment "they had it coming" your taking this statement out of context. Of course there are unforeseen risk in the world that we can't always worry about or people would never fly, or people would never drive around bar closing time, nor would people help others in need. Unforeseen risk has nothing to do with actual stupidity. The events associated with Black Friday are reported every single year. Dying because you didn't put your seat belt on is unfortunate not unforeseen because we are aware of the risk associated with riding in a vehicle and not wearing a seat belt. If something happens to you on Black Friday and this is considering what the world already knows about previous Black Friday events is not an uncalculated or unforeseen risk. You already knew what to expect so that means you knew it was coming and if you did not take necessary precautions, then yes you deserved your outcome. Can I rob a bank and tell a judge that I'd never done such before and were not aware of all the un-calculated risks associated with my choice; so therefore prison wouldn't be fair. Any person reading about such would be saying "she had it coming. Fry her! She knew the risk".We know the risk associated with Black Friday. If your not taking more precautions based on the mountains of horrible things that happen each year; then that makes you Stupid.

    November 27, 2010 at 10:10 am | Report abuse |
  13. economy

    I don't know why everyone don't realize how we are milipulated by the media. I was out shopping yesterday and I didn't see any of that but. I'm not saying that it didn't happen but I would think the really story here would be the health of the economy. every store could hire off duty police to process black friday much more civilized but this country thrive on choas and confussion to have the usual frightful news report. if a stadium of hundreds of people could enter and leave with little mishap then why can't there be the same for a much small group of people at a mall. its the news feed of how the economy is gettin better that should be reportin here. all of those people who's things r stolen u would hope have insurances to cover there loss. the stores should not reimburse them for their loss because it could start a trend of dishonesty with shoppers to create the same scene. the media should report on both sides of the day the good and the bad with more emphisis on the good to life people's spirit than to continue to spread the doom and gloom effect that CNN tens to do. its the economy stupid!!!!

    November 27, 2010 at 10:10 am | Report abuse |
  14. Meredith

    I went Black Friday shopping for the first time ever this year and enjoyed it. I hate shopping in general and Christmas shopping is the worst due to the crowds and fighting for deals but my friends talked me into it with assurances that it's not what you see on the news...and it wasn't.
    When in the checkout line I heard about a $50 shopvac selling for $15 in the back of the store for $15 and the husband of the woman in front of me volunteered to go get one so I wouldn't have to get out of line. At the next store we stood in the cold singing Christmas carols and sipping free hot drinks from the gas station next door at 2:00 am. No fights, no shoving and every stepped on foot was followed with an "excuse me", every difficult cart/aisle maneuver was preferred with"I'm so sorry" and "You're fine".
    Line jumping was attempted once and store management handled it with professionalism.
    Are things just different in Texas?

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

      Merideth, I don't know about things being different here in Texas, but I too had an enjoyable shopping experience. I happened to be out taking my husband to the airport, so I decided to stop and shop at 6am. Every person I encountered was polite, and I was fortunate enough to find what I was looking for.

      November 27, 2010 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Jerry M

    I enjoy taking my kids to the mall during the holidays. We don't shop, we watch as people do exactly what this story reports. "See how that fat lady cut in line" I tell my kids. "Don't ever let me catch one of you doing that" I point out how greed motivates these people, and they are so far gone they actually enjoy it. This spectacle can be seen most any day at your local wal-mart in case you don't want to wait for x-mas.

    November 27, 2010 at 10:15 am | Report abuse |
    • Old Fool

      You have my nomination for either teacher of the year or parent of they year. But be careful. If you keep doing this your children will grow to be rational adults. How will they ever fit in? ; )

      November 27, 2010 at 11:33 am | Report abuse |
    • Jordo

      Jerry you have my complete respect! Unfortunately I believe you're the exception rather than the rule.

      November 27, 2010 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
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