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. Rocky

    the main reason for outsourcing is american consumers want cheaper and cheaper goods and merchants want to compete and provide them cheaper goods while still making the profit margins. many shoppers who woke at 4:00 am wanted to buy a consumer good of less price because it is not made in america at a very low discounted price.

    November 27, 2010 at 10:25 am | Report abuse |
  2. blackfriday

    Hey, has anyone mentioned why it's called black friday yet? I'm trying to figure it out.


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

    These are not "eager" shoppers. They are stupid and represnt a steady decline in the quality of our average citizen.

    November 27, 2010 at 10:26 am | Report abuse |
  4. Jim MA

    Best Buy and T mobile amongst other stores should be held accountable for their ations. Home Depot should be comended for their abundance of black friday items eliminating such ridiculous behavior. In previous years, slugfests and trampellings at opening time where even more prevelant.

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

    These are stupid elements of the society, and they are growing in size every year.

    November 27, 2010 at 10:28 am | Report abuse |
  6. Rutendo Pasipanodya

    all of this over some material things? some ppl really know how to show their craziness.

    November 27, 2010 at 10:28 am | Report abuse |
  7. MadCityBabe

    oh how proud these f r i g g n l o s e r s must be in getting their purchases in this manner – and camping out 2 days before a store opens up – what kind of hokey SH__T is that........if people behave in this manner over toys, I can only imagine how people would behave during an actual emergency..............pathetic, simply pathetic! – there is no way to justify this type of infantile behavior

    November 27, 2010 at 10:31 am | Report abuse |
  8. steve

    What was the name of that Beatles song on the White Album?

    OIh yeah, "Look at all the little piggies"!

    They need to play this both inside and outside of all business that partake in Black Friday!

    November 27, 2010 at 10:36 am | Report abuse |
  9. The Royalty

    Face it, this black friday thing is reality whether any of you accept it or not, it is here to stay until the United States destroys itself or is taken over by a country our so-called great leaders ignore as being a threat. I miss the good old days of the Cold War where everything made sense and all of us americans had a common goal.

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

    Wat 'til 4chan starts hacking that T-Mobile store and the manager as well. Also, as a gesture of holiday spirit, I call upon the CEO of Best Buy to cover the towing costs for their customers. NO ONE should ever use that particular T-Mobile franchise ever again!

    November 27, 2010 at 10:37 am | Report abuse |
  11. Meaty Portion

    This is all ridiculous and speaks poorly of our society. People are being hyped to incredible levels of stupidity by massive retail chains in order to foster blind consumerism. Something needs to change.

    November 27, 2010 at 10:40 am | Report abuse |
  12. jmar582

    Wow, the ladies that had their car towed didn't even have the money to get the car out. Perhaps they need to re-evaluate their spending/saving habits. Very clearly they shouldn't be buying such expensive gifts. If you don't have an emergency fund of at least $1000 then you shouldn't be spending money on gifts. We forget Christmas is about God not about you and I.

    November 27, 2010 at 10:41 am | Report abuse |
  13. ???

    1 question – why were tmobile employees @ work already calling towing company @ 4 in the morning when they did not open until 7...what percent of the towing fee went into tmobile's pocket???

    November 27, 2010 at 10:53 am | Report abuse |
  14. D

    What amazes me is that half the junk they con you into buying are actually items made for black friday. Try to buy some of these tv's in a few weeks and you will not even see them on the companies web site. Its mostly a scam.
    If you want to understand why this country is such a mess...look no further than the people who wait on line for 2 days to buy things they don't need b/c some website or commercial told them they were getting a "good deal."
    As for race and are all the same color...the color of moron.

    November 27, 2010 at 10:53 am | Report abuse |
  15. CCB

    If thet had pat downs and scanners at all the stores, none of this would have happened. LOL

    November 27, 2010 at 10:53 am | Report abuse |
    • CCB

      they (typo)

      November 27, 2010 at 10:55 am | Report abuse |
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