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. Jm

    If they can't afford the towing fee then why the heck are you spending so much on gifts and not your important expenses, like your mortgage? Plain idiotic!

    November 27, 2010 at 10:54 am | Report abuse |
  2. Jeff

    fa la-la la-la la la la la

    November 27, 2010 at 10:54 am | Report abuse |
  3. McDuck

    I don't wear pants when I go shopping. People stay out of the way then.

    November 27, 2010 at 10:57 am | Report abuse |
  4. bobjim

    Hey jimbob since the rebublicans ruined the economy we have to save a dollar when ever we can! To the rest of you if you don't like what goes on on black friday then don't go! Stay on the porch with the rest of the spinless whinners.

    November 27, 2010 at 10:57 am | Report abuse |
  5. Kimberley Royalty

    Well, one thing is for sure, and I'm glad I found out now...I'll NEVER switch to T-Mobile. 🙂

    November 27, 2010 at 11:00 am | Report abuse |
  6. cicisbo

    Jeff, even Neanderthals were more peaceful creatures than the idiots who spark mob mentality. For crying out loud, do you really need to behave like a jerk for something you really don't need just because marketing tells you that you "need" it?

    November 27, 2010 at 11:00 am | Report abuse |
  7. Jordo

    I sure wish we went back to the original reason for the season!

    November 27, 2010 at 11:13 am | Report abuse |
  8. PDawg

    If you study history you will find that this is just the sort of thing that lead to the wonderful practice of Festivus. The Festivus for the rest of us! We're putting up our pole later today, with no distracting tensil, and I am already working out to prepare for the feats of strength! Happy Festivus everyone!

    November 27, 2010 at 11:16 am | Report abuse |
  9. David

    It's Called GREEDY CONSUMERISM!!!! People are Ignorant and don't care anymore for one another or who they hurt in the process!!! We live in a World where everything is Hurry Hurry Mine Mine Mine!!! One Day mankind will pay for the mistakes they made

    November 27, 2010 at 11:19 am | Report abuse |
  10. debbie lincoln


    November 27, 2010 at 11:22 am | Report abuse |
  11. Michael

    Just my .02, but if you cannot afford to pay $300 to get a car out of impound, how do you have the money to buy something like a PS3? I'm a pretty well paid single male. I want a PS3, but I'm not going out to spend money that I could potentially need for an emergency. A majority of these people are idiots. I know when there is TOW sign somewhere, I'd better not park there.

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

    Santa Clause is coming and the kids are getting greedy (Christmastime)
    They know it's in the stores 'cause they seen it on the TV (Christmastime)
    It used to be the birthday for the man who saved our necks (Christmastime)
    Now it stands for Santa Clause, you spell it with an X (Christmastime)
    -Larry Norman

    November 27, 2010 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
  13. bobjim

    I have been shoping black fridays for over 30 years and have never had a problem. I think the one problems you do hear about represent a small percentage of the poeple who are out there.

    November 27, 2010 at 11:34 am | Report abuse |
  14. SequoiaAdmirer

    LOL I know its not funny... that's why I never go on the Black Friday because "Black Friday" mean greedy and bad luck! I knew there will be criminals. I dont mean to offend but be honest I think they are dumb for go for it. They swallow for nothing.

    November 27, 2010 at 11:35 am | Report abuse |
  15. danielle

    just becaue people go shopping on black friday doesnt mean they are poor. my friends and i go every year caue we enjoy it. if we lived in a big city then we prolly wouldnt. havent anyone watched the show downsized? they paid full price because they could but look at them now. i bet they wish they wouldve looked for deals. i didnt realizd spending less to save money was a bad thing. maybe if people save our country wouldnt be hurting so bad for money. if some of u did some research on millionaires u would find that many of them do shop for deals. they shop at dollar general stores and stuff like that. thats why they stay millionairs cause they watch their money.

    November 27, 2010 at 11:37 am | Report abuse |
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