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. MJB

    Every year the same thing. Robbery, rudness, hitting, spitting, kiilling. Why do we even keep this going. Its not just black Friday. Its Black until after x-mas and beyond.

    November 27, 2010 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Anita

    Wow – no sympathy for those nice ladies who were robbed. Instead, everybody comments about how stupid they were to wait in line. No wonder people suck these days.

    November 27, 2010 at 1:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • quest7710

      they deserved every bit of getting pummeled for their greed and stupidity knowing the stores only carry a limkited supply of crap made in china that works for about 2 weeks

      November 27, 2010 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • TJ


      Had this been 1980 and not 2010, I'd have a little bit more sympathy but not much. However, It IS 2010 and you can buy just about anything online. It's ridiculous to be out on the day after Thanksgiving running around like a mad person for sales.

      Not only that. It's not as though you can't buy any of these items online at any time of the year. In addition, anyone who has ever worked in retail knows that people who work the day after Thanksgiving have to be up at horrible hours in order to work Black Friday sales to accommodate customer's greed for low prices. Some stores, start these sales as early as midnight on Thanksgiving. So no, again, no sympathy.

      So no. I don't feel sorry for anyone who got ripped off on that day. Now they know how it feels.

      November 27, 2010 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Katastrophic

      I don't have sympathy for them because like others have stated, you get BF deals online and throughout the weekend. Even before. I saved hundreds on a new TV less than a week ago just by researching prices online and going around to different stores. I was only out on BF because I work in retail (unfortunately).

      I also have no sympathy for them because they left that stuff in the car while they went to another store. If you're going to spend that much on ELECTRONICS, which is the one thing besides toys that people get so crazy over, take it HOME first then go back out. It's a simple concept, really.

      November 27, 2010 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
  3. teatime

    except for the little ones in the family we decided some years ago to give a gift that might help to make the world a better place by shopping at oxfam unwrapped:
    no parking, no consumer madness, instead a wonderful christmas dinner with family and friends

    November 27, 2010 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Mike

    It always goes to black and white issues. i think the picture says a thousand words. I am not racist but black people tend to act like animals

    November 27, 2010 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • teri

      I happen to be white and I work in an economically challenged area. Hate to break it to you but a lot of white people are loud, obnoxious, rude and lack civility. I have to deal with tweekers, crackheads and others that have a long criminal history. The upside? I deal with some nice longterm customers that are black white hispanic asian or whatever. Nastiness attaches itself to those who are concerned about themselves only–not to skin color.

      November 27, 2010 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • kmnecole

      A little hint for you Mike- with that comment- you are, indeed, racist

      November 27, 2010 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • tjc360

      Hey Mike, you are racist, please kill yourself.

      November 27, 2010 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike Carter

      That's because black people ARE animals. Didn't you ever hear about the theory of evolution ?

      November 27, 2010 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rahul

      Its amazing how okay you are with being so ethically corrupt.

      I've seen just as many white people act like "animals" here in suburban St Louis as you might claim there to be on the part of black people. If you really think just because you happen to be white that you've got a claim to any sort of moral ascendancy you're dead wrong.

      I really hope you don't have kids, because they're assured to turn out as horrible and screwed up as you.

      November 27, 2010 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • kburgoyne

      Reminds me of a tour we took to Vicksburg, MS. (The Civil War battlefield.) The tour guide was the ex-mayor of the city of Vicksburg. He felt the need to explain to everyone how the South wasn't really prejudiced anymore - that was just some phony belief held by Northerners. He then made comments like how all the black people in Vicksburg were “perfectly fine productive citizens these days.” My wife and I both looked at each other and we were both biting our lips trying hard to not break out laughing.

      To be fair, I don’t want to paint everyone in the South with a broad brush dipped in this ex-mayor’s paint. I don’t even want to paint everyone in MS with it. I know perfectly well there are truly wonderful people of all races in the South, including MS. And I’m sure that this ex-mayor is probably a perfectly wonderful man who just doesn’t realize that he’s still carrying around some remnants of prejudicial up-bringing.

      November 27, 2010 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • kburgoyne

      Oh. After reading my comment, I should also mention that there are plenty of prejudicial people living in the North as well. I didn't mean to imply the North was somehow perfect.

      November 27, 2010 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Beth

      Sorry to tell you this, Mike, but you are racist.

      November 27, 2010 at 5:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gregg

      with names like lanessa and lavorn people would tend to believe the culprits were black. I think they have a hard time understanding they dont live in the jungle anymore.........

      November 28, 2010 at 4:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      GO MIKE GO!!!

      November 30, 2010 at 5:22 pm | Report abuse |
  5. karla katz

    #1 rule when shopping at the mall: If you have to relieve yourself of your parcels, place them in the trunk, and then move the car around to the other side of the mall, at another parking spot. Anyone watching you depart, will think you've left. Anyone seeing you arrive, will believe you've not purchased anything... yet.

    November 27, 2010 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • kburgoyne

      Hmmm... intelligent suggestion. Thanks for posting it.

      November 27, 2010 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rahul


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

      This is the only valuable piece of information posted. Thank you =)

      November 27, 2010 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • ME

      Or better yet, realize it's time to go home when you can no longer carry all the crap you bought.

      November 28, 2010 at 7:24 am | Report abuse |
  6. Craig

    Wrath, Greed, Sloth, Pride, Lust, Envy, and Gluttony.

    November 27, 2010 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
  7. RT

    We told the kids no xmas this jobs not even seasonal all people calling bf shoppers trash and everything else. If I had a couple extra dollars I would go where it is cheap just to buy something for my kids to upen on xmas . Just to see the sparkle in their eyes. Get Santa didn't forget them BC they are living where ever. There are people just trying to make the best! If I had an extra but of money to buy a cheap littly toy for my kids I would have been at walmart .I guess that makes me a stupid cow or white trash. No it just means my kids get one little toy to open from Santa and my xmas is the sparkle in the eyes of a child who is caught up in a rough situation.

    November 27, 2010 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • JFT

      RT, I've been where you are now – but you don't have to have "no Christmas". Yes, you can't get out there and take advantage of the sales, but you can still give your kids plenty of reason to have a sparkle in their eyes. Spend time with them, make things for them, play games, have a "treasure hunt" at home and find things they've forgotten they have. Make homemade decorations with paper and other materials you have on hand. Pop up some popcorn and teach them to make popcorn strings. I had a number of Christmases where I simply couldn't buy the latest toys, but could manage some token gifts from a dollar store and made up all the rest of the holiday with contrivances I could make myself. Later, when my son was a teen, I was dead broke again, and instead of a traditional gift he opted for gifts that cost nothing but my time – so I made a set of coupons for him to redeem whenever he wanted, along the lines of "time for a special talk" or "time to go fishing together". He still says that was the best Christmas he can remember.

      Keep your chin up. It will get better, and you can use your love for your kids to come up with ways to make those eyes sparkle without spending a lot of money.

      November 27, 2010 at 6:35 pm | Report abuse |
  8. TJ

    Stupid consumers. Why do people still go out shopping on Black Friday? Shop online or don't bother.

    November 27, 2010 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • auguron

      Stupid Renee. Stop sponging off of us taxpayers and get a job.

      November 28, 2010 at 2:19 am | Report abuse |
  9. TJ


    You're trying to be funny but you're really just showing your ignorance.

    November 27, 2010 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Steph

    I have never done the waiting outside the store in the freezing morning on Black Friday. I did for the first time go online yesterday though and got some great deals, plus free shipping. I would Christmas shop after work during the week when it wasn't too crazy but I think I'm going to continue buying stuff online. No muss, no fuss.

    November 27, 2010 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Maggie

    I can't understand the people who camp out from Wednesday to Friday morning. Do these people not celebrate Thanksgiving?

    November 27, 2010 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Marie

    This is why I don't go shopping on Black Friday. I'd rather order gifts online and pay a little extra rather than wait in long lines and risk getting robbed of the newly purchased gifts. My friend drove past a toys r us on Thursday and the line was wrapped all the way around the building. HAHA Enjoy waiting 6 hrs in line to save $30.

    November 27, 2010 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • ME

      I ordered everything online because I hate shopping. I got the exact same prices that were advertised in the store, plus I got free shipping. It was so much nicer than wasting my time in the cold at 4 AM while being trampled by a bunch of rednecks.

      November 28, 2010 at 7:27 am | Report abuse |
  13. TLC

    all stores should do a 200 ticket lotto 1 week before. On black friday open at 4 am to 6 am for those customers only. Have a cop or security stand at the door and let those people in. Close the store by 630 until normal hours of operation. This will keep down the towing, anger, fights and keep a cop in the lot to keep theives out of others cars. Easy solution, JUST DO IT...................................

    November 27, 2010 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |
  14. James Marshall

    My last comment was to Vernon, who posted on the 26th, BTW.

    November 27, 2010 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
  15. pelicansnizzle

    Well, just by the photo, I can already understand why these beings act like untermenschen. They needed to physically purchase at the store in lieu of online shopping because the vast majority probably don't even have a means to make the e-sale an/or have a credit/debit card. Go agead, and say I'm racist, but where are my racist words? Bingbingbing! You have just made a correct assumption, I didn't classify anyone, you did that all by yourselves just by being defensive and quick to judge.

    Happy Holidays!

    November 27, 2010 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • auguron

      They really have no business buying anything anyway, considering they obviously had no money to deal with more important matters.

      November 28, 2010 at 2:22 am | Report abuse |
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