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. Kudu

    How can people be so STUPID?

    November 26, 2010 at 9:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Laura

      You mean all those third world Best Buys, Targets and Wal Marts? What?

      November 26, 2010 at 10:33 pm | Report abuse |
  2. das272

    Like I heard someone say once....seems like we're returning to the days of the Wild West. Civility, decency, and respect has gone out the window.

    November 26, 2010 at 9:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Fallowt

      No, in the old west everyone had guns. If you acted rude, you got your head blown off. Makes me wonder if that's what we need to go back to. There's no accountability for behaviour these days.

      November 26, 2010 at 11:40 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Dragon

    Completely Dumb, Dumb, Dumb & Stupid… What a useless materialistic tradition, manufactured chaos and miserable day all in the name of acquisition. Wow!

    November 26, 2010 at 9:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • jos

      I agree.

      November 26, 2010 at 9:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • jos

      It's the same materialist, stress-inducing, family-fracturing crap, from Halloween to Christmas.

      November 26, 2010 at 9:27 pm | Report abuse |
  4. techtock1

    I don't feel sorry for these people one damn bit. If you are stupid enough to throw yourself into the fray, you're gonna get what's comin' to ya.

    November 26, 2010 at 9:11 pm | Report abuse |


      November 26, 2010 at 9:47 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Jared Wait

    Just another embarrasment to the country. Greedy people!!

    November 26, 2010 at 9:11 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Thomas

    Glenn Beck is right, what's happening to us, America? We don't need "stuff", sell the crap you have and stop buying things you don't need! My children will get poetry books this year!

    November 26, 2010 at 9:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mr. M

      Poor kids!

      November 26, 2010 at 9:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • bxgrrl

      Glenn Beck's right but only in the sense of the old saying that "Even a broken clock is right twice a day." People need to get a grip. Shopping at 3:00 a.m.? Camping out for DAYS to be the first in line – for what? Please, take a step back from the sales and think! If you can't afford things without getting up at midnight to buy them, DON'T DO IT. Spend less! "Black Friday" isn't for YOU, it's for profits! You're being played like a violin by the corporations. Please, next year – sleep through it!

      November 26, 2010 at 9:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • tapu

      Thomas, I think there may be a middle ground....

      November 26, 2010 at 9:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Arthur

      It is pretty easy to rail against avarice and materialism when you are a multi-millionaire like Beck.

      November 26, 2010 at 10:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • You all are dumb

      Stop blaming the corporations. Everything item that is on sale on black friday is sold below cost. These companys are not making any money on this day. I've been in retail management for 10 years and nothing kills our profit for the year like black friday. It is not the corporations fault, it is the consumers fault!!!!

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

      Glenn Beck is an uneducated,hateful, Racist, white trash, moron. He is only right if he said Rush Limbaugh was a fat drug addict

      November 27, 2010 at 8:38 am | Report abuse |
  7. Laurence Berville

    People lost their job, their house, filed for bankruptcy but have plenty of money when it comes to shop. Where is the money coming from ?

    November 26, 2010 at 9:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Martin

      Government redistribution. Why should they work?

      November 26, 2010 at 9:55 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Justin

    This is the problem. People feel obligated to buy thing they cannot afford. This is all about consumerism.

    November 26, 2010 at 9:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • steve

      why do you say people can't afford? not all of us are living beyond our means, some of us have some expendable cash to spend, responsibly.

      November 26, 2010 at 9:56 pm | Report abuse |
  9. robert

    If I was President, I would regulate black friday. Stores would be closed thanksgiving. Shoppers can not form a line no more than 30 minutes before the store opens, customers would be consider loiters if parked at a store (camping out) the day before, stores could not open till 9am, sales have to be all day long, no advertising any great deals unless there are 50 on hand at the advertised store. Time ti put a stop to all this bull crap. Some would say, they chose to go out in it, but the work force did not, so they need protection from being stampeded to death, and if that had been a relative on mine that was trampled to death two years ago, I would have sued the police dept for allowing everyone on site to leave, sued wal mart ceo for allowing this to happen, and held our worthless money loving government as accessory to the crime.

    November 26, 2010 at 9:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Martin

      Right, because presidential authority and governement intervention solved so many problems in the past.

      November 26, 2010 at 9:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeff

      If You were president this is what you would worry about?! Besides, You can't control businesses in that manner. Its called free enterprise.

      November 26, 2010 at 9:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • a white guy

      Yeah. Let no "American" be held accountable for their actions. You know, we never had a problem with Black Friday – say 30 years ago. Gee, I wonder why there is such an issue with it today? Let's us all ponder this. What could be the outstanding factor to cause stampedes and also threats to murder others with firearms? From what factor does all of this stem? Hmm....

      November 26, 2010 at 10:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Fallowt

      Sounds good to me!

      November 26, 2010 at 11:42 pm | Report abuse |
  10. wendy plopper

    why dont ppl just stop advertising black friday specials and let it be a surprise then ppl maybe won't go trampling on ppl just 2 get 2 one certain part of the store and they will have 2 search 4 the deals.

    November 26, 2010 at 9:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • i hate twitter

      learn to spell and type, we all cant read your highschool uneducated speak....

      November 26, 2010 at 10:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Larry

      U R N IDIOT...

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

    people that work in retail call it hell day.

    November 26, 2010 at 9:14 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Haveaclue

    Never have and never will care to have all these things people are so desperate to buy that they would stand in line all night for it. Get a clue people...think about what's more important in your life than "stuff"....Hiking through the woods, seeing critters of all sorts gives me more happiness and peace than anything you can buy.

    November 26, 2010 at 9:14 pm | Report abuse |
  13. g-dub

    did mine on a "sunny tuesday"....ha ha, morons is right! hey, crappie biting yet? ltes goooo.

    November 26, 2010 at 9:16 pm | Report abuse |
  14. J

    Are you SERIOUS, people???????????

    HELLOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!! There has GOT to be an end to this mess humans have created. Really? Trampling someone's Mom is REALLY worth having that certain toy under the tree??
    And you feel GOOD about that???

    Humans can't just stand there and be STILL until their part of the line moves???
    If you are NOT FIRST, then you are NOT FIRST!!!!!!
    Do NOT punish the people who ARE FIRST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Black Friday is one of the lowest points human beings stoop to.
    We need to just have regular sales like we do all year, and GROW UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Why don't we remember what Christmas is about???
    Even if you're not religious, which I am not. But I still get into the holiday spirit, whether or not that big screen tv or hot toy is under the tree.
    Gimme a BREAK.

    November 26, 2010 at 9:17 pm | Report abuse |
  15. BRod

    Selfish, greedy people who act like animals get exactly what they deserve.

    November 26, 2010 at 9:20 pm | Report abuse |
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