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. Mike

    Sorry; but I'm not-too terribly sympathetic. The story is exactly the same, year after year, and yet next year it will happen yet again.
    Low intelligence, I suspect.

    November 27, 2010 at 11:56 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Darleen

    If people would get up and out this early to seek God, to spend time with him, the world would be so amazingly different. I wonder how many who got up early to go to a store would do this to go to church. Does this show how wordly some are?

    November 28, 2010 at 12:06 am | Report abuse |
    • Kay

      Why on earth, Darlene, do you have to go to church to spend time with God???? Isn't He everywhere? Doesn't He know what's in your heart? Aren't you supposed to 'pray in a closet', as it were? (In other words, your prayers are supposed to be between you and God, not made for everyone else to listen to.)

      Going to church to pray does NOT make things better in this world. But donating your time, skills and money to help others...*THAT* makes things better.

      You want to get up early and go to church? Go for it. But I'll bet that, for example, more hungry people will be fed by people who volunteer at soup kitchens than are fed by your going to church to pray.

      November 28, 2010 at 12:21 am | Report abuse |
    • aardman

      Sorry to disappoint you but indications are there is no god. I started suspecting it when I noticed there are hundreds and thousands of innocent toddlers and infants who have died or are dying from hunger, disease, war and natural disasters. Any talk of such wide scale human tragedy as being part of some god's "plan" is just cruel, insensitve talk and worse, an excuse not to do anything about it.

      November 28, 2010 at 12:39 am | Report abuse |
    • roflName*

      Not me thanks

      November 28, 2010 at 1:54 am | Report abuse |
    • auguron

      I'm sorry Darleen, but why would anyone trade one problem for another?

      I find the convenient amnesia of yourself and others of your religious persuasion simply baffling. The majority of your accomplices shamelessy engage in barbaric displays of behavior during this day, and you have the GALL to tell people to emulate people like that?

      Come off your pedestal already. We all know what you all truly are.

      November 28, 2010 at 2:41 am | Report abuse |
    • Rocky

      I am always very wary of people who starting spouting God. It makes me believe that they're more into talk than action. Instead of sitting in front of your computer why aren't you out serving the poor and sick. It's what God would want you to do instead of judging your fellow human beings. In my experience, most people who have to talk about God have no idea what they're saying.

      November 28, 2010 at 11:17 am | Report abuse |
    • Eidmar

      Walmart had a good deal on God on Black Friday. Unfortunately, they only had 1 per store.

      November 28, 2010 at 12:04 pm | Report abuse |
  3. JMPMO

    The previous posts are pretty obviously not being posted by the real person.

    November 28, 2010 at 12:07 am | Report abuse |
  4. tomc7676

    A number of people have posted that the term "Black Friday" refers to the day retailers hope to make a profit (hence the word "black"). The original use of the term to refer to the day after Thanksgiving was in suburban Philadelphia in the mid-1960s, and it was used by police officers and retail workers who were upset over either having to work that day or over traffic jams. They saw it as a day of disaster (hence the word "black"). I first remember media trying to force the term down the throats of the general public about 10 years ago or so.

    Again, I'd like to see the day after Thanksgiving referred to, simply, as "The Day After Thanksgiving".

    November 28, 2010 at 12:30 am | Report abuse |
  5. Eric2007

    I love when people sit in line to save $10 to $50 for hours upon hours upon hours. Like when certain gas stations drastically lower the price of gas through a promotion. Ummm... they could give the gas away from stinking FREE... but I'm certainly not sitting in a three plus hour line to get it. It's almost like people don't take into consideration the value of their time. Would you camp overnight out in the cold to make $8 per hour? No... well then why would you camp outside in the cold ten hours to save $80 off regular price? Think people... THINK!

    November 28, 2010 at 1:07 am | Report abuse |
  6. Brandon

    It's called Black Friday in remembrance of the people who will inevitably die from it.

    November 28, 2010 at 1:12 am | Report abuse |
  7. MagE

    Oh the humanity! (Can't wait for Dec 26).

    November 28, 2010 at 1:17 am | Report abuse |
  8. Frank Mondana

    Black Friday is only amazing as it demonstrates the ability for people to devolve into cave-people.
    No business gets to put the books into the black based on one day. It is a season wide result.
    Most folks spread the shopping out. In order for this day to be what everyone thinks it is, everyone does all their shopping on this day alone.
    The tallies don't include the massive amount of e-shopping that occurs. It only tracks sales in brick and mortar.
    Lastly, the only places where Black Friday mania is whipped up is the media outlets.

    Have fun being lead around by the nose for a fake "Really Important Day for the Entire U.S. Economy".

    November 28, 2010 at 1:18 am | Report abuse |
  9. Nutondabeyoch

    Capitalism is evil, how is this a surprise?

    November 28, 2010 at 1:19 am | Report abuse |
  10. Nicole

    I think it's pathetic that this is what society has come to. It seems as though most people have totally forgotten the true meaning of Christmas.

    November 28, 2010 at 1:21 am | Report abuse |
  11. flux

    Let's see: thanksgiving celebrates stealing from native americans and christmas is the roman worship of the sun (along with many other pagan traditions) disguised as the false birthday of Jesus: seems to me the "holiday spirit" is correct. Violence, theft, hate, greed, selfishness, and vanity, etc.

    November 28, 2010 at 1:26 am | Report abuse |
    • auguron

      But.....but.....JESUS IS THE REASON FOR THE SEASON!!11

      Never mind that we stole it so we can further brainwash the masses into believing we're not complete monsters!

      Note:the above is sarcasm.

      November 28, 2010 at 2:44 am | Report abuse |
    • Paul

      Nicely put!

      November 28, 2010 at 6:32 am | Report abuse |
    • Brad in Canada

      The ficticious character "Jesus" was alledgedly born when the Romans wanted to do a head count in the countries they controlled. They ALWAYS did this in the late spring AFTER planting so people could travel freely in good weather to the place where they would be counted for taxation purposes. The movement of this celebration to December was done to give the churchs more money at the end of their fiscal year because their "flock" was in a more giving mood after their fall sales of their crop. The whole "holiday" is based on greed. Hope that works for yah!

      November 28, 2010 at 11:14 am | Report abuse |
  12. Paul

    Okay here is some wisdom for a savy corporate marketeer who took the time to read this late comment. Instead of a brawl fest, a stores should simply announce how many special items they have and then only allow those who have made a purchase of some sort each hour to be eligible to buy the hot item. Eligible purchasers would be tracked by receipts and an announced at the end of the hour. People would make extra purchases to be eligible each hour and there would be no reason for pushing shoving and rude behavior. Everybody wins and we could all get more sleep! LOL

    November 28, 2010 at 1:27 am | Report abuse |
    • Rahul

      EVEN better - if they make it a rebate the winners can be contacted remotely in a more confidential manner - just give your name and some contact information (which they almost always have whenever you buy something at Big Box stores). This also helps the store b/c they can make some interest on the rebate if the holdover period is long enough.

      no more lines, craziness, or 4am openings.

      November 28, 2010 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Brad

    Black Friday is just that black and grim. It should be banned. Its not worth it anymore. People getting violent over toys and tupperwear. Store employees get trampled to death or someone gets hurt every year. Is saving money so much more than a human life? We are a shattered society as indeceny continues to corrupt our country over petty things.

    November 28, 2010 at 1:32 am | Report abuse |
  14. Kenny

    That Best Buy is 5 minutes from me. The JCP is right across the street. How foolish can they be? Leaving merchandise in a car, even I would bust your window for it. And for those who say that's not right, serves them right for leaving valuables in a car. Bet they won't do that again.

    November 28, 2010 at 1:38 am | Report abuse |
  15. CNN4Idiots

    Wanna bet the Palm Beach robbers were BLACK??

    November 28, 2010 at 1:40 am | Report abuse |
    • ME

      Judging from all of the various "victims'" names, it seems they were the ones who were black.

      November 28, 2010 at 7:19 am | Report abuse |
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