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. Dr. Lecter

    California is where the police sent people outside for a time-out? At a Walmart where Hillary Clinton was once a proud board member? That would explain a lot. Where is the San Francisco city council when you need them? Time for them to egest another law.

    November 27, 2010 at 3:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tallulah

      Pointed heads make no points and you make absolutely no sense at all....

      November 27, 2010 at 6:51 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Rahul

    Again – just showing off your ignorance.

    A) I'm not Muslim. If you were so smart you'd realize Rahul isn't a Muslim name.
    B) I don't know why I'd go back 'home' to the Middle East when I was born and raised in upstate New York. Last I checked, that's still part of the USA.
    C) My idea of moral behavior is the exact opposite of what you're demonstrating. You're petulant, hate filled, VERY ignorant, and completely without class or courtesy.

    I'm blessed to have an intelligent group of friends, and NONE of them are as bigoted as you are (yes, even the white ones).

    I really hope one of these days you come around and realize how horrible of a person you are.

    November 27, 2010 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Techno

      Well said Rahul, we as a people should be looking to help and build others up not constantly tear each other down.

      November 28, 2010 at 12:12 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Peggy

    Its astonishing, how cruel people are. Just because someone isn't rich doesn't mean they don't deserve a good christmas. Yes its sad that people are like that on black friday, but doesn't mean they are stupid or trash. People get carried away with the hype and do not think. How bout compassion on black friday and on the message boards.

    November 27, 2010 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Diane

    OK, why would you leave $1000 worth of merchandise sitting in your car? Also, everyone knows that you shouldn't park in the parking lot of a store that obviously wants their customers to park there. The people mentioned in this article were all behaving stupidly.

    November 27, 2010 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Katastrophic

    Bahahahaha. Silly people.

    troll –
    One who posts a deliberately provocative message to a newsgroup or message board with the intention of causing maximum disruption and argument.

    A troll's food = your replies. STOP FEEDING THEM!!!

    November 27, 2010 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Rahul

    I love curry! So do a lot of other people! But right now I'll settle for observing you behave like a clown.

    November 27, 2010 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Billish

    May I change species, please?

    November 27, 2010 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Entrepreneur1

    Best Buy? Wal-Mart? Really?
    How about shopping at the places that have always meant the most to America? Local small businesses! You want to bolster our economy? Support your small local businesses and artisans this holiday season. They are truly the backbone of this country's economy as they should be!

    November 27, 2010 at 3:59 pm | Report abuse |
  9. David

    too bad

    November 27, 2010 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
  10. hemanth

    Thousands of retailers cater to millions of shoppers and sell billions of worth of goods. There can be some unpleasant incidences, but thanksgiving and black Friday are fun generally. Look at the delighted faces of shoppers when they get a deal on the things they most wanted.

    November 27, 2010 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
  11. john dont leave $1000.00 worth of merchandise in your car in an african american neighborhood! should know better!......

    November 27, 2010 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Robert

    I ordered my stuff from Amazon for the same price as in the stores. I didn't wait in line & didn't have to deal with the crowds.

    November 27, 2010 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse |
  13. peter klika

    Sadly, our economy now depends on mindless consumers chasing cheap crap from China that they don't need and can't afford. We used to be a country that actually produced useful items for the rest of the world. Now we are zombies in a shopping mall. As long as the American economy is dependant on unnecessary consumptions, Americans will remain: fat, dumb, and unhappy. Aloha, Peter Klika, Kapaau Hawaii (no shopping malls here; we actually make and grow things. How quaint)

    November 27, 2010 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Paul SF

    black friday, blue friday, black and blue friday.....these morons need to be trampled in the run....these are underclass, no class, mostly stupid people...

    November 27, 2010 at 4:28 pm | Report abuse |
  15. A.

    ""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."

    Um, if you don't have enough money to get your car from the towing place, maybe you shouldn't be buying Playstation 3's. Give your child a real Christmas gift and teach him/her how to save money and spend wisely, instead of buying things you obviously can't afford.

    November 27, 2010 at 4:30 pm | Report abuse |
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