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. Jordo

    This is what I'm giving this year....I'm taking my easel, paints, and canvas and creating my own gifts....which to me and the people I give them to have far more meaning than the crap I've witnessed in the malls and stores I went to.

    November 27, 2010 at 11:41 am | Report abuse |
  2. Nan

    I am a single mother struggling to provide a few nice things for my 2 daughters for Christmas. I started putting a little away each pay check a few months ago, shopping at stores which provide lay-a-way, and watching for Internet specials. I did not go to any stores on Black Friday. I spent the day with my girls putting up the Christmas tree, playing games and watching movies. That was worth more to me than whatever money I would save fighting crowds and missing that time with my children. People need to get their priorities straight.

    November 27, 2010 at 11:44 am | Report abuse |
  3. Mike, Albany

    This is when you know that we have truly, as a society, lost the meaning of Christmas. If it's all about a level of consumerism that brings out absolutely the worst in people, then none of us deserves Christmas and the reason is came to exist in the fist place. My feeling is, cancel it as a holiday. Maybe a few years off from Christmas will give people some perspective and make them behave like human beings again.

    November 27, 2010 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
  4. toya

    What's wrong with people now days?, they want to kill for any stupid little thing for material things, for a spot on line, for a parking spot, for a cigarette, for a stupid word.

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

    We told our kids there will be no xmas This year, no jobs. Even with that in mind I would not steal from shoppers. Sometimes that walmart is the only way a toy to open on xmas morn is the ONLY way for a struggling family and it is a shame people make fun at parents trying to cope. I wish I even had some money to buy ah walmart on black Friday. Would you do the same for yours? Just the look in their eyes opening the ONE special present is worth the nonsense on black Friday! Happy holidays!

    November 27, 2010 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
  6. crad88

    Its amusing how everyone implores you to stay home and celebrate the meaning of thanksgiving. Yet we should send sympathy cards to oklahoma , to the survivors of genocide....indian removal act of 1820???

    November 27, 2010 at 11:56 am | Report abuse |
  7. Ryan

    Reading this article and then reading through some of these posts just illustrates what the true problem is here. It's not about Christmas, or religion, or Black Friday, or consumerism or whatever – it's about how we all interact with each other. Have we really gotten to a point where can no longer be civil with each other? Sure seems like it...

    November 27, 2010 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
    • kmnecole

      Well said, Ryan. Well said.

      November 27, 2010 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
  8. chris

    way to go american society. keep it up you will ruin black friday for everyone, just like you've ruined countless things over the years. lack of common sense you fools.

    November 27, 2010 at 11:59 am | Report abuse |
  9. hammond t. trueblood

    Absurd and crazy, it is all just stuff in the end and not worth getting trampled or shot, robbed or having your car towed. If you notice all of the areas reported on in this story are not very nice areas with low income, and poorly educated people and as such you get what you see. If you cannot afford to buy your item on a Tuesday or Monday and can only hope to capture said gift on Black Friday then you probably shouldn't have the item anyway. They have created online shopping or there are personal shoppers that can do your shopping for you. We have chosen to buy our children two new American Saddlebred horses for Christmas, don't think you get those at Wal-Mart, Target, or Best Buy. The simple solution here is get a good education, retain a upward and promising job, spend and invest your money wisely and you can avoid all the Black Fridays in the world.

    November 27, 2010 at 11:59 am | Report abuse |
  10. Melissa From MN

    What I think is funny is that most of the same deals were offered online Friday Morning with free shipping, also many toy companies offered exclusive deals on their website ( I got some really amazing deals) with free shipping as well. Toy r us also has daily deals for example I got the bayberry play house $$ for 45% off the sale price plus a $$ gift card and $$ off of 75 or more Plus a train table with an amazing trainset for 75% the sale price at toys r us and 2 free train sets with them All over the first week of November. I dont understand why people need to hurt people for an ok deal when there are better deals before black friday.

    November 27, 2010 at 12:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ngek

      I strongly agree with you and besides the sale doesn't only just end on a "black Friday" alot of stores offers good discounts Saturday and Sunday as well and lately we got this thing called now "cyber Monday" where we can shop items with great deals online. Retailers would to everthing and anything to make business so maybe if there are less crazy people shopping on a Friday sales they will force to extend thier discount offers longer.

      November 27, 2010 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jenn

      Believe it or not, some folks don't have ready access to fast internet connections at home or they're not savvy enough to navigate some of the online shopping sites. I did most of my shopping online late Thursday evening/early Friday morning, but some of the sites were overwhelmed with traffic for several hours.

      November 27, 2010 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Clmc334

      Black Friday is one big farce! I once spent four hours prior to opening at a Circuit City just to find out by the time I was served that their frickin' credit card machine server had died and the item I wanted was all out of stock. Its all a marketing scheme people! You can get these items at lower or equivalent prices all year round by just being a savvy shopper and doing your research.

      November 27, 2010 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mei

      What is sad, the idea of giving gifts is charity, love and peace in the name of Christmas. But pushing, shoving and being downright harmful to others is obviously showing the true colors of some people. Christmas apparently means nothing peaceful to many anymore. We all want to get certain gifts for our loved ones but hurting others to get that gift is truly wrong.

      November 27, 2010 at 8:03 pm | Report abuse |
  11. boodiddly

    I work retail in this madness, and even if I didn't I will never shop on bf weekend, all you people that do bring down my IQ at my mindless boring pointless be grudging job, that unfortunately I'm currently relegated to, I see the worst in all of you everyday imagine how it makes me and the millions like me feel

    November 27, 2010 at 12:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • SophyB

      Hey, I've worked in retail off and on for extra money. Holiday time was crazy for sure and some people could get nasty (generally the same people who are nasty all year). However, I also saw a lot of happy people who were out having fun and enjoying getting something to surprise or delight someone. I saw people being nice to others about as much as I saw the nasties being themselves. Plus the time really flies by when you're busy! Sorry if you are "relegated" to your position for the moment – sounds like customer service is definitely not your thing and you need to find something else asap. Good luck!

      November 27, 2010 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • ATP

      yeah you need to find another job. maybe burger king will work out for you. you can work in the back and cook the burgers. dont have to say anything to anyone. . .

      November 27, 2010 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • sean_m

      I feel your pain, man. Worked it for years and had to get out of it. Too much stress for such an unrewarding and underpaying job. People don't realize having to deal with the personalities of hundreds or thousands of people a day puts a strain on you. To people saying that he should find another job... lol Good luck with that. In this economy? Hardly going to happen. I got lucky. When you're making the same amount of money no matter how many people come in the store, it weighs on the nerves. I believe that in addition to an hourly wage, commission should also play a role in retail workers during this time of the year. I could care less about their bottom line but I assure you if you treat your employees a little bit better, you get better results and in the long run, the company will come out better.

      November 27, 2010 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cook Meister

      boodiddly" have you considered switching to Burger Cookery as a career field? Much quiet time with just you and the stove. No pushy customers.

      November 27, 2010 at 4:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mei

      I can sympathize with you and don't let those who think customer service is such a happy job get you even more down. Most people in retail and other min wage jobs are not there because they want to be. It is because they can't find a job in their profession or they don't have the degree necessary to get ahead. Sadly, when I was in high school, college wasn't important. You supposedly could "work your way up the ladder" but only a few years later, it was impossible to do that. You had to have a degree. I'm trying to go to college now but its expensive and is hard to do when you work full time and have a family to take care of. Those who have it easy, go to college on their parents acct or live at home, don't know what its like to really "survive" in the real world. They've never been in a job that they "had" to work.

      November 27, 2010 at 8:07 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Enough, please.

    Why are we having discussions about religion, pagans, how crappy T-mobile is, and racism?

    The point of the news article was to show that not everyone is having such an awesome Thanksgiving weekend.

    I think we should give our money to charities and make those kids happier instead of buying a ps3, wii, or x-box....after all, if you can afford one of those, then your family is happy and does not need thankful for your blessings and help those who do not have what you have.

    November 27, 2010 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • hello!

      Just because someone can afford a game system or anything else expensive doesn't mean the family is happy. Money doesn't always equal happiness!

      November 27, 2010 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • sean_m

      Money doesn't equal happiness, sure, but compare the child who wakes up to a PS3 under the tree to one who wakes up with a one dollar hot wheels car from the dollar store and we'll see who smiles brighter. lol

      November 27, 2010 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Galoux

      It's bad enough that Christmas has been turned into a festival of rampant consumerism. Now Thanksgiving has been rendered a day of gluttony, sports, and gearing ip for a shopping insanity that has actually resulted in fatalities. Does everything in this country have to be about acquiring more and more stuff?

      November 27, 2010 at 5:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • painful1

      just because a parent has gotten their child a game system does not mean they have money nor that they are happy. My husband works a full time job during the weekend & a part-time job on the weekend so at least once a year our two boys can have a chance to get something nice that they won't get anyother time. I can say one thing I've never been out for Black Friday, don't see the point in it, people are just getting too darn mean anymore.

      November 27, 2010 at 7:23 pm | Report abuse |
  13. OKE

    What a bunch of trashy people!

    November 27, 2010 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
  14. lagtat

    It's called Black Friday for a reason.

    November 27, 2010 at 12:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jason B.'s turned into "black and blue" Friday anymore. I mean really..."Officer, I'm not a violent person, but if I don't get the toy my daughter wants I'm gonna have to shoot people!"

      Ah...the joys of the Christmas season.

      November 27, 2010 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Bluecat

    Last I looked apes of any kind didn't shop at Best Buy or Toys or Us.....Nobody was acting like a wild animal they were acting like a human animal. No matter what day of the week we are gross....

    November 27, 2010 at 12:14 pm | Report abuse |
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