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. Just rewards

    "I mean, we've been camping since Wednesday," a tearful Shereece Francis told WPBF. "Just cruel, just wicked."

    I dunno, perhaps it is fitting. Camping out to shop is pretty moronic in my book. 😉

    November 27, 2010 at 6:44 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Tallulah

    "Christmas" is a farce anyway. I can't wait until all the bulls**t is over with.

    November 27, 2010 at 6:46 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Jasper

    This is incredibly entertaining. Much better than almost anything on TV.
    I hope to God I never get stuck sitting next to any of you on a long flight but it's fun to read the mud you idiots are slinging at each other. This country is so screwed.

    November 27, 2010 at 6:50 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Beck

    Target should have had some employees or security at the door outside making sure people didn't rush in so fast. The manager of that store should be fired. Oh, also the stupid people that were at the door and trampled on that guy and ran on past into the store like nothing had happened should be ashamed of themselves. Hope you saved your dollar, idiots.

    November 27, 2010 at 7:20 pm | Report abuse |
  5. sasha

    Seriously? These are all adults? The rabidness of christmas shopping on black friday is completely disgusting. I enjoy gift buying, but I look for things that someone would need or want for under 50 and try to make it well thought out. I could not imagine camping all night for a damned toy. Exactaly what kind of example are they trying to give their children? And the grinches that stole people's gifts because they knew that today would be a day of exorborant spending...don't know what bugs me more, the vultures or the lions.

    November 27, 2010 at 7:30 pm | Report abuse |
  6. emur one

    materialistic lowlives! funny you got run for ya cash!

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

    This is a no brainer why take chance on injuries. No freakin brainer. Hppy holidays to all families. Pianoman.

    November 27, 2010 at 7:45 pm | Report abuse |
  8. phil

    If you love what America has become, you are either very young, or you never really knew her.

    November 27, 2010 at 8:13 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Name*Bucktooth

    When will people ever act like humans? We are suppose to be the more intelligent beings. What happened to "Peace on Earth, Goodwill to Men/Women..that went right out the door.

    November 27, 2010 at 8:27 pm | Report abuse |


    November 27, 2010 at 8:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Retired LE

      People are like cattle. They will stampede at the slightest provocation (low prices in this case) and once they get going there's nothing you can do but get out of the way and hope you don't get trampled. It's sad but that's the way it is.

      November 27, 2010 at 9:27 pm | Report abuse |
  11. no CNN

    only idiots go to the store on black friday. You can get better deals online nowadays. Most of the people described sound like ignorant buffoons. Don't leave 1000 dollars of merchandise in your car, don't park in the parking lot of a store you are not visiting. This should be common sense, unfortunately these people are too stupid to use the internet, so they'll never read my advice.

    November 27, 2010 at 8:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jean

      This is EXACTLY why I don't go out on black Friday.

      November 27, 2010 at 10:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • displeased

      I agree, only idiots go shopping on Black Friday. But keep in mind, those who are shoving their way into Walmarts probably don't own a computer, so internet shopping isn't possible for them. It's times like this that remind me how fortunate I am to not have to camp on sidewalks for a bargain.

      November 27, 2010 at 10:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • dmcs

      I don't understand it either $20 off a product is not enough for me to wait at midnight or get up at 4am just to find a few sales. You can find those all through out the year because retailer always want to sell their product not just on certain days throughout the year. But people are too dumb to realize this. Then for the people that actually possess the boldness to cut line and use the line "I just want my kids to have the toy they always wanted". So what freaking what I think about 50% feel the same way, why are you so special. Arrest her stupid behind!

      Sometimes I really feel like that half of us are a bunch of dumb idiots and deserve the drama that follows this!

      November 28, 2010 at 12:29 am | Report abuse |
    • Heather

      Sure, it's stupid to all of us for whom $20 isn't a big deal. But for those for whom $20 or $100 is a lot of money, it's worth it. Your privilege is showing.

      November 28, 2010 at 12:35 am | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      maybe ignorant, but the thieves are the bufoon's

      November 28, 2010 at 1:47 am | Report abuse |
    • auguron


      It's not privilege, it's common sense. If you know you're barely making it, why are you wasting money on things that are ultimately frivolous?

      November 28, 2010 at 2:51 am | Report abuse |
    • ME

      Agreed. The only people who waste their time are hillbilly morons who are too stupid to know that the time they are wasting is more valuable than the deals they will get. Furthermore, they tend to be the people who can't afford this junk in the first place. For example, the guy in the article who will have to return the Playstation to get his car back from the towing company. If money is so tight that you can't afford to pay the towing company, you shouldn't be buying a Playstation in the first place!

      November 28, 2010 at 7:07 am | Report abuse |
    • ME

      auguron is right. If these people are so desperate that they need to stand in line for hours to save $20, they need not be buying these things in the first place. The fact that they are wasting money in that manner is probably the reason they are desperate. Frugal people don't waste money on materialism. Furthermore, if $20 is a huge deal, they could try getting jobs, (and there are PLENTY of part time holiday jobs this year,) and working for the time they'd waste standing in line for junk.

      November 28, 2010 at 7:10 am | Report abuse |
    • Bigred2020

      Well I went out on black friday on a military base no problem there. Pretty sure I'm not stupid or any of the above.

      November 28, 2010 at 7:22 am | Report abuse |
    • USMarine

      People are so GREEDY! I am a manager at a store and we had 32" Sharp TV's for 199 and PS3's for 149. We had people yelling at each other, getting mad at us because one door opened 2 seconds before another, calling corporate to complain, calling the managers to complain, pushing other customers out of the way, using those wonderful hand gestures, people hurting themselves; It was madness. I love working retail management, but this is one day that brings out the worst in almost everybody.

      November 28, 2010 at 7:42 am | Report abuse |
    • Chuck

      Stupid, not stupid, underprivileged, privileged... isn't the real problem that stuff we don't need is so important to our lives? People weren't acting this way because of food, or in most cases, because of clothes... just stuff. This kind of consumerism is disgusting. Get your kids a book.

      November 28, 2010 at 7:46 am | Report abuse |
    • Thomas

      Think for a second, a person waits over 24 hours outside of a Best Buy to save $100. You could have earned twice that in the same amount of time delving pizzas.

      November 28, 2010 at 8:12 am | Report abuse |
    • Buck

      Your post makes you sound ignorant.

      November 28, 2010 at 8:15 am | Report abuse |
    • lucifersam

      before you buy into the frivolousness of the season, ask yourself, "Can I afford to burn this money right here in the parking lot?" If the answer is "no" then you cannot afford to buy the gifts.

      November 28, 2010 at 8:53 am | Report abuse |
    • Jeff S

      My wife and went out Friday night about 6pm and had no problem getting some good deals on stuff. And the crowds were non existent.

      November 28, 2010 at 9:30 am | Report abuse |
    • gretchen

      Actually, my wife and I went to Sears at 4 AM, got a heckuva deal on fleece throws; turned out the wrong sign ($2.99) was on the bin, but they honored the price on the sign! We got our stuff, put it in the trunk, went to breakfast, then home and crashed for seven hours.

      November 28, 2010 at 9:46 am | Report abuse |
    • Gunga Din

      Unbridled GREED – – I WANT MINE!!! Some sociologist should do a study on the demographics of the folks that are camping out, pushing, shoving, threatening, and just plain mis-behaving. My guess would be the results of such a study would be very politically unpopular!

      November 28, 2010 at 10:23 am | Report abuse |
    • Ted

      Some people just shop on Black Friday because they actually like the excitement and commotion. Like a big party.

      November 28, 2010 at 11:24 am | Report abuse |
    • mervyn

      Common sense is in very short supply these days, my friend.

      November 28, 2010 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Black Friday Participant

      I think this is rediculous. but I also don't think "this is why only idiots shop Black Friday" it's not that, it is that only idiots are idiots about Black Friday. I participate every year and have never had any issues with it. and that includes going to wal-mart. there are just SMART ways to go about it. every year I have fun with it and get great pleasure out of all the deals. like I said, just need to find those smart ways to do it.

      November 28, 2010 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • SewerRat

      The problem is, most of the people I know who are obsessed with Black Friday are at least middle class people who have all the access they need to online deals. Stores run great sales from now til Christmas, so why be so crazy over being the first one in the door at 4 AM?
      I think Black Friday retailers should be regulated some way by police departments. Think of the incredible demand this "holiday" places on government resources, from excessive traffic requiring more patrol officers to situations like the Target scenario which require medical personnel, etc. If any other industry created a scenario lending itself to this much chaos, traffic, crime, etc. the authorities would shut them down or fine them heavily. It's completely unnecessary and turns normal Americans into complete raging, selfish animals.

      November 28, 2010 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • smarter than you!

      "only idiots go to the store on black friday." I have a Yale Ph.D. and I went out to stores on Black Friday. Soooo...

      November 28, 2010 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      Completely agreed, avoid the hassle, crowds, drama, victim of thefts by just sitting at home on a comfortable desk chair and control the mouse and make few clicks tada I am done with christmas shopping, then go to living room and enjoy college footballs game on TV 🙂 While people at shopping center going crazy, angry, crying because cant get what kids wants. People actually forgot what great technology we have today " ONLINE ORDERING".

      November 28, 2010 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
  12. comment

    What a bunch of fools!

    November 27, 2010 at 8:54 pm | Report abuse |
  13. ILoveSalsaConQueso_Alot.

    No matter how "dumb" or how "ridiculous" it is that these shoppers get up and wait in line at an ungodly hour, no one, NO ONE deserves to be robbed. Yes there are idiotic individuals out there who deserve what they get but for the most part a lot of these people are good people. It's sad that some people have to ruin everything. I hope they catch the idiots that robbed these women. I would love to be the one to find them.

    November 27, 2010 at 9:02 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Frank

    The retailers hurt themselves with the creation of this shopping frenzy. Yes, they get the deal crazy folks to go out and spend some money but for every 1 person that ventured out, there are many more that are too fearful to get caught in the craze.

    November 27, 2010 at 9:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ana

      I agree. But I also blame the media for fanning the holiday shopping frenzy. They interview all these idiots camping out, making it somehow a 'news story' which it clearly is NOT, then show up the next day to report all the 'mayhem' that ensued from the previously hyped shopping frenzy !! It's ridiculous.

      November 27, 2010 at 10:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • CJ179

      This pretty much nails the reason that black friday should be banned. If they want to get people shopping, offer the deals all week, or all month. Every time someone is trampled or killed, the store should be blamed. Retailers are the ones that cut prices for a short window of time in the middle of the night the day after Thanksgiving and they cause this problem. Lots of people that are broke are willing to go do this to make their money go further. I go to work at 5 AM and I saw the mess. It seemed like it was the middle of the day with all the traffic around Best buy and other such places. I felt safe at work not having to deal with the crowds.

      November 27, 2010 at 11:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rocky

      Ana, this is assuming that human beings don't have a choice. A person chooses to be stupid. I'm sorry that these individuals had bad experience – it's true, they didn't deserve it – but they made the choice and I am assuming they were intelligent enough to know that if you go out in the wee hours of the morning on Black Friday, it's like wearing a sign that says "Rob me."

      November 28, 2010 at 11:08 am | Report abuse |
  15. ???

    JFT – wish there were more people like you!!! more worried about keeping a fellow mans spirits alive than bashing another to make yourself feel more of a man...

    November 27, 2010 at 9:13 pm | Report abuse |
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