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. Sydney Australia

    There should have been a warning on the toys and the electronic presents: "DANGER ! Leaving item in unattended vehicle will result in busted car windows and possible loss of item. In Florida, leaving toys and electronic presents in vehicle may result in the towing of your vehicle. " These women did not know their presents could be, might be stolen from them. Or that their vehicles could be towed. They should sue the stores for not being told. (sarcasm just in case you couldn't catch it)

    November 29, 2010 at 2:27 am | Report abuse |
  2. Kevin

    Every year so many people go into debt to buy Christmas gifts out of fear of being called stingy if they don't. Black Friday for retailers. Red Friday for so many of their customers

    November 29, 2010 at 5:30 am | Report abuse |
  3. Antoine Doddson

    You are so dumb, you are really dumb.... for real.

    November 29, 2010 at 6:10 am | Report abuse |
  4. boatvolt

    At WalMart, it's said
    You'll be trampled or dead
    When the Sales of November come early...

    Edmund Fitzgerald

    November 29, 2010 at 6:48 am | Report abuse |
    • JAB

      LOL! Good one!

      November 29, 2010 at 9:26 am | Report abuse |
  5. lupita sandoval

    First of all those people camping out in the parking lot are a bunch of idiot losers, they get what they deserve, and they should consider themselfs lucky god didn't take their lives or their relatives lifes, because greed is a sin, and so it is to cry over material bull. Second, Y'all think you have it bad try living on the border in a crappy town called Laredo, Google it and it would probably say overrun by Mexicans, this town only caters to Mexican Nationals, the town sends ads as far as Monterrey Mexico with the Black Friday deals days in advance and the local news paper doesn't even publish the ads if you want to know the deals you have to buy a Mexican news paper, there's Specials reserved only for Mexican Nationals where you have to show proof you're a mexican otherwise they consider you second class citizen even on the road they have prefference if they crash your vehicle your insurance has to pay for their vehicle as well and the authorities don't enforce them having insurance.

    November 29, 2010 at 8:07 am | Report abuse |
    • Ken in TN

      I have a good friend in El Paso, and I often worry about his safety that close to the border; but if you feel this poorly about where you live, move. Nothing is worth staying where you feel you are in danger.

      November 29, 2010 at 11:32 am | Report abuse |
  6. SurRy

    "I just wanted to get my daughter the toy that she wanted for Christmas...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,...[.]

    O Holy Night. The stars are brightly shining, It is the night of the dear Saviour’s birth. Long lay the world in sin and error pining....

    November 29, 2010 at 8:35 am | Report abuse |
    • Ann

      Too bad CNN chose not to tell you the rest of the story. How the sweet innocent Ms. Lattimore was the one cutting in line. Many wittnesses heard her getting verbally abusive with the young women who politely told her where the end of the line was. How Ms. Lattimore has had numerous run-ins with the police for such nice activities as shoplifting, etc. She got what she deserved. Next time she should wait in line like everybody else.

      November 30, 2010 at 12:58 pm | Report abuse |
  7. pileonmaster

    "People at the front of the line were pushed to the floor when doors opened"

    Sounds like a pile on to me

    November 29, 2010 at 9:20 am | Report abuse |
    • pileonmaster

      If anyone got video, please post on YouTube. They have some great pile on videos there.

      November 29, 2010 at 9:30 am | Report abuse |
  8. linda

    Maybe we should call it "white" Friday and hope for a blizzard to keep all the shoppers from losing their "stuff".

    November 29, 2010 at 12:36 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Rich E

    There has to be a better way for stores and customers to enjoy black Friday shopping. How many more people need to die before they want to forget the holidays. I think after enough people die around the holidays people will flack to the morg for a nice flower to place on there loved ones grave. Its just a matter of time.

    November 29, 2010 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Alyssa

    Time to do away with this Black Friday B.S. I shop locally and on-line and wouldn't set foot in any big box store or mall because of how stupid and rude people are.

    November 30, 2010 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Tom

    white black white black white black....who cares!

    November 30, 2010 at 5:11 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Mike

    shouldn't you ass bags be working????

    November 30, 2010 at 5:13 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Marygrace

    I happen to live just outside Buffalo – was raised in Buffalo – most of my friends live in Buffalo – and for the most part Buffalonians are really great people, kind, friendly and considerate. It's a shame that low-life maggots that don't have a life have to ruin it for others. If they want to waste their lives standing outside for hours to purchase cheap electronics made in CHINA yet – not even American made – fine. Be a fool. But this trampling of others and the rudeness is uncalled for.
    Several years ago I thought it would be nice to shop on Black Friday. But I was not going to camp out and put up with a pack of animals. Yes – that is what they are. I went to WalMart at 11:30 in the morning – knowing that the "door busters" were most likely gone but hopefully the rioters would have moved on to the next store to terrorize.
    Surprisingly – the so-called "door-busters" that were only supposed to be on sale till 9 AM, were still on sale and stacked almost to the ceiling.
    And the animals were out strong. I cannot shop like that. I don't believe in being rude, pushing others, slamming my cart into people, elbowing and hitting for something. I was raised to have manners. And at this time of the year we are supposed to have "Christmas Spirit" –
    I blame the stores for this. They are at fault. Advertise so-called great bargains (China made goods that won't last long) and only have a few in the stores and this is what is going to happen.
    Buying electronics? Wait till after the holiday when the stores get rid of everything because they have inventory in the beginning of the new year and they want to sell as much as they can beforehand.
    Trampling another for greedy purposes? WRONG! and for all those that trampled this man – may they get trampled worse than he did. Maybe then they will learn.
    And to think that most of them have children – fine examples they are setting.............................

    November 30, 2010 at 9:50 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Kevo

    Here, not a black person in sight. Also Black Friday comes from retailers being "in the black" or gaining profits; because if you had half a brain cell in your racist heads, you'd understand that profit on a business ledger is written in black ink, expenses or losses is written in red ink. – Educated Black Man.


    December 1, 2010 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • sam

      Possibly the most intelligent post on this thread. Thank you.

      Samantha- accounting major 😉

      December 5, 2010 at 3:21 am | Report abuse |
  15. Say WHAT?

    When did people get so stooopid during holiday shopping season? My solution: gift cards for everybody!!!!

    December 7, 2010 at 7:38 am | Report abuse |
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