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. andy

    Why do I not venture out on black Friday????

    November 27, 2010 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
  2. TPM

    I call it GREED Friday anymore. For the consumers AND for the store owners and product manufacturers!

    November 27, 2010 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Tina

    The stores are to blame. How many years has this happened where people get hurt, killed or arrested. Come on: put the merchandise at a reasonable price and do away with Black Friday. We all see some"people" do not have the ability to act in a responsible manner and think they are the only ones who are waiting or feel they do not have to wait for some reason. That goes for all races, not just white or black.

    November 27, 2010 at 4:34 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Cook Meister

    I would like to know why this news source fixates on the behaviour of riffraff? can't we have more articles about well-behaved customers lining up at an overpriced craft shop out in the Virginia horse country, in say Louisa or Faquier counties?

    November 27, 2010 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Uncle Bill

    Ho-hum,what else is new.The American Christmas spirt back in season.These same morons wouldn.t give a homeless person a dollar,or get up to go to a religious service at 12.00 pm

    November 27, 2010 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Tom


    Says the person who used "it's" when it is clearly "its." Didn't you finish high school?

    November 27, 2010 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • auguron

      Clearly a dropout. Why do you think the only conversation she was capable of while trolling this comments section is calling everyone else idiots?

      November 28, 2010 at 2:33 am | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      Don't be a dick! "It's" not cool

      November 30, 2010 at 5:19 pm | Report abuse |
  7. ProperVillain

    More examples of American consumerism. This country has become greedy and pathetic.

    November 27, 2010 at 4:57 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Tony

    People suck. Happy Holidays everyone.

    November 27, 2010 at 5:04 pm | Report abuse |
  9. James

    This goes to show that others ruin it. This is why we are labeled a "Cold Society."

    November 27, 2010 at 5:18 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Name*Maz

    When someone leaves their car in my driveway they get towed. It's their own fault. Business pay for parking lots. Don't use one unless you are shopping at that store.

    November 27, 2010 at 5:23 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Evan

    So someone watched those women wait in line for days, then got their jollies from stealing their junk. Wow, this is more about someone getting off on humiliating these women who must have slaved away through 2010 in some low-end job ghetto - perhaps sweating over a burger grill - for that one Black Friday moment. The very purpose finally realized, they rushed into that store - bellies bouncing away with expressions of ecstasy on their faces and tears streaming joyfully - and emptied their bank balances then charged their plastic to the limit for that stuff... only to have someone heartless teens enjoy the spoils of their victory. Life is too cruel.

    November 27, 2010 at 5:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • ME

      If I were working at some menial minimum wage job, my LAST priority would be spending $1000 on material junk after camping out for two days in a parking lot. If they are that poor, they need to get their priorities straight.

      November 28, 2010 at 7:38 am | Report abuse |
  12. Scott

    Wow! It's amazing the extent that people will go to spoil their children! Then they wonder why they grow up to be spoiled rotton little brats.

    November 27, 2010 at 6:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • ME

      Spoiled brats who live in poverty and squalor but have $300 toys. How insane is that?
      Idiotic priorities like that are the reason these people are poor in the first place.

      November 28, 2010 at 7:39 am | Report abuse |
  13. truthinrock

    Consumer madness running wild and then they complain they are targeted by thieves. I laughed my way all the way through this article. Save a buck and stomp your fellow man in the process. Gotta love you christians.

    November 27, 2010 at 6:10 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Donio

    Anything and everything in this country is all about GREED!!! Nothing new, it's been that way longer than I can remember.

    November 27, 2010 at 6:23 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Helen

    Sincere apologies...that should read, "Thomson Reuters curbed you back in July, so maybe your emotional stability played into that."

    Also, for someone so intolerant of others, how do you live happily in such a diverse city? I'm asking that in all sincerity.

    November 27, 2010 at 6:27 pm | Report abuse |
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