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Outbreaks of violence have marred Black Friday shopping frenzy, as bargain-hunters besieged malls across the US.
In Chicago, police shot an alleged shoplifter; a robber shot a shopper in Las Vegas; and a California police officer was injured in a fight.
Black Friday, the day following the Thanksgiving holiday, is the biggest shopping day of the year in the US.
This year it began even earlier amid a trend for Thanksgiving openings.
Twelve national chains opened their doors on Thursday, advertising aggressive discounts.
Some 15,000 shoppers stormed the flagship Macy’s in New York City as it opened for the first time ever on Thanksgiving evening.
There were several incidents of retail-related disorder across the US:
- In Chicago, a police officer shot a suspected shoplifter driving a car that was dragging a fellow officer at a Kohl’s department store. The suspect and the dragged officer were treated in hospital for shoulder injuries. Three people were arrested, reports the Chicago Tribune
- A shopper in Las Vegas who was carrying a big-screen TV home from a Target store on Thanksgiving was shot in the leg as he tried to wrestle the item back from a robber who had just stolen it from him at gunpoint, reports the Las Vegas Sun
- At a southern California Wal-Mart store, a police officer’s wrist was broken as he tried to break up a fight between two men in the queue outside; there were two more fights over goods inside, reports the San Bernadino Sun
- A 23-year-old man was doused with pepper spray and arrested after he allegedly attacked a police officer responding to an argument over a television at a Wal-Mart in Garfield, New Jersey, reports the Star-Ledger
- Despite Wal-Mart’s pledge to overhaul its crowd-control measures, scenes of mayhem such as this one were apparently filmed at a store in Forth Worth, Texas
- Two arrests were made after a man was stabbed in an argument over a parking space at a Wal-Mart in Virginia, reports local TV station WVVA
Outbreaks of violence have marred Black Friday shopping frenzy, as bargain-hunters besieged malls across the US
Workers’ groups have protested that the trend towards Thursday opening means retail employees can no longer spend the day at home with their families, which is supposed to be the point of Thanksgiving Day.
Some retail analysts have begun to dub the holiday Black Thanksgiving, or Grey Thursday.
Workers held demonstrations on Friday outside Wal-Mart stores in the city of Ontario, California, and in Elgin, Illinois, demanding better pay and conditions.
There was anecdotal evidence that the Thursday openings have led to an easing off in consumer footfall on Black Friday itself, though the increased popularity of online shopping could be another factor.
By late Friday morning, the number of shoppers in many stores was more typical of a normal Saturday than the usual frenetic start to the holiday season.
Some 97 million Americans hit the shops on Black Friday, according to the National Retail Federation.
In 2012, Americans spent $11.2 billion on Black Friday.
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From shootings and stabbings to minor brawls, Black Friday turned violent as shoppers became obsessed over discount deals.
After buying a big screen TV, a Las Vegas shopper was shot at around 9:45 p.m. local time late Thursday as he tried to take his purchase home, Lt. David Gordon of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department told NBC News.
“As the victim was walking through his complex he was approached by a suspect who fired warning shots which caused the victim to release the television,” he said.
As the thief tried to load it into a vehicle the victim approached him to try and get it back, David Gordon added.
“The suspect fired two more shots and the victim was struck in the leg,” he said.
“He was not seriously injured.”
Early Friday shoppers started arriving at a Chicago-area Kohl’s store just hours after a police officer shot the driver of a car that was dragging another officer responding to a call of alleged shoplifting which came in at around 10 p.m. local time.
Both the driver and the officer were taken to a hospital with minor injuries. Three people were arrested, police said.
At least three people got into a fight in the parking lot of a Wal-Mart in Rialto, California, because shoppers were cutting in line, Sgt. Nicholas Borchard told NBC. Two were taken into custody after the fight at around 7 p.m. local time, he added. A police officer suffered a minor unknown injury.
From shootings and stabbings to minor brawls, Black Friday turned violent as shoppers became obsessed over discount deals
A man in Claypool Hill, West Virginia, was slashed to the bone with a knife after threatening another man with a gun in an argument over a Wal-Mart parking spot, Tazewell County Sheriff Brian Hieatt told WVVA. Both faced charges after the incident that happened at 6:30 p.m. the station reported.
Another shopper was charged with aggravated assault on a police officer after getting into an argument with a New Jersey Wal-Mart store manager about a television set. Officers arrived at the scene at 6:39 p.m. and once they had pacified the customer they also charged the shopper with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.
Stores have braced themselves for the Black Friday rush despite a Consumer Reports poll this week that found 56% of Americans had no plans to shop at all this weekend.
Because Thanksgiving fell on November 28, the latest possible date, there are six fewer shopping days this holiday season than last. The most common reason – named by 70% of respondents – was a desire to avoid the crowds.
A Gallup poll this year found that 53% of Americans are very or somewhat likely to do their shopping online, the highest share since Gallup started asking the question in 1998.
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A newly released mugshot show Katherine Russell, the widow of suspected Boston bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev, as she looked in 2007 at the time of her arrest for stealing $67 worth of clothing from an Old Navy store in Warwick, Rhode Island.
The picture shows Katherine Russell as an 18-year-old, in the accompanying police report she is described as “skinny” with hazel eyes and red or auburn hair – now firmly concealed by her Hijab.
Since Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s death on April 19, Katherine Russell has taken refuge at her family’s home in Rhode Island and has been doing everything she can to distance herself from Tsarnaev.
Still, now as a single mother, she has had to sit her 3-year-old daughter, Zahara, down and tell her what happened to her father, Tamerlan Tsraneav, a relative has revealed.
Katherine Russell, the widow of suspected Boston bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev, as she looked in 2007 at the time of her arrest for stealing $67 worth of clothing from an Old Navy store in Warwick
“Daddy has gone to heaven and he still loves her very much,” Katherine Russell Tsarnaev allegedly told her daughter of her father’s absence, as People magazine reports.
“She broke the news as gently as possible, but Zahara wants to know why.”
Earlier this week Katherine Russell Tsarnaev released a statement through her lawyer Amato DeLuca, saying that she wants her husband’s body released to the Tsarnaev family.
In addition to declining to claim the body herself, which is her right as his spouse, Katherine Russell Tsarnaev has also reverted to using her maiden name.
One of Tamerlan’s sisters, Bella Tsarnaev, told ABC that she and her sister Ailina plan to offer their brother a proper Muslim burial. Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s uncle, Ruslan Tsarni, also said on Tuesday that the family would take the body.
“We will do it,” he told the Associated Press.
“A family is a family.”
On Tuesday, Amato DeLuca said Katherine Russell mourned the loss of life from the bombings.
Zubeidat Tsarnaeva, the mother of the Boston marathon bombers, says she regrets that her family emigrated to the US, more than 10 years ago.
At a news conference in the Russian republic of Dagestan, where she now lives, Zubeidat Tsarnaeva said America had taken her children away from her.
The Boston bombers’ mother also reiterated she was sure her sons were not involved in the attack.
It is being reported that Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, was added to a terrorism database 18 months ago at the CIA’s request.
Three people were killed and more than 260 wounded when two devices exploded at the Boston marathon on 15 April.
“I would prefer not to have lived in America. Why did I go there?” Zubeidat Tsarnaeva said at Thursday’s news conference in Makhachkala, Dagestan.
At a news conference in the Russian republic of Dagestan, where she now lives, Zubeidat Tsarnaeva said America had taken her children away from her
“I thought America would protect us. America took my kids away from me… I’m sure my kids were not involved in anything.”
Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed a few days after the bombing during a shootout with police.
His younger brother, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, was captured and charged in connection with the attack.
The suspects’ father, Anzor Tsarnaev, has said he will travel to the US on Thursday or Friday. The family wants to take Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s body back to Russia.
Zubeidat Tsarnaeva, 45, has said she is still undecided whether to go, AP news agency reports, because she was charged with shoplifting in the US last year and fears arrest if she returns.
In questioning from his hospital bedside, where Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is being treated for gunshot wounds, he has reportedly said he and his brother Tamerlan were angry about the US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
In 2012, Tamerlan Tsarnaev spent six months with relatives in Dagestan, which has an Islamist militant insurgency.
But congressmen said on Wednesday after closed-door briefings that the brothers are not believed to have had direct contact with a militant organization.
Meanwhile, there are questions as to whether the authorities did enough to prevent the bombings.
US media report that Tamerlan Tsarnaev was added in 2011 to the Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment (TIDE), at the request of the CIA.
The database contains as many as 745,000 entries; individuals on that list are not necessarily on the so-called terrorist watch list.
The FBI investigated after Russian authorities alerted US counterparts to the activities of Tamerlan Tsarnaev, saying he had become a follower of radical Islam.
About six months before the CIA requested his name be added to TIDE, the FBI asked the Russians for more information about the elder brother but received none, and closed its investigation.
US officials said earlier that their intelligence community had no information about threats to the marathon ahead of last week’s attacks.
After a classified briefing at the House intelligence committee on Wednesday, Democratic Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger said he believed the FBI was not at fault.
It appears that Katherine Russell Tsarnaev, the widow of suspected Boston bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev, has a criminal record and is a confessed shoplifter.
According to a police report from 2007, Katherine Russell was arrested that year for stealing $67 worth of clothing from an Old Navy store in Warwick, Rhode Island.
And in an intriguing twist, Katherine Russell, who was 18 at the time, told officers she was married though she was living at parent’s North Kingstown home and did not meet Tamerlan Tsranaev until some two years later.
The startling revelation of this tawdry incident raises fresh questions over the past and character of the “all-American girl” “brainwashed” according to her friends, by her fanatic husband.
Katherine Russell, no 25, was arrested along with an unnamed female minor on 26 June 2007. Then, the police report states, she was “skinny” with hazel eyes and red or auburn hair – now firmly concealed by the Hijab. She is described as unemployed and married.
Katherine Russell Tsarnaev, the widow of suspected Boston bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev, has a criminal record and is a confessed shoplifter
Old Navy store security guard Linda Lewis stopped the girls having watched Katherine Russelll and her companion enter the store, select several items and put them in their handbags.
In 2011 Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s mother, Zubeidat Tsarnaeva, was charged with stealing several designer dresses worth $1,600 from a store in suburban Natick.
Katherine Russell’s foray was hardly on the same scale. She took five items valuing $67; her friend took three with a total item of $125.
She was placed in handcuffs and taken to Warwick Police Department.
According to the store Loss Prevention Agent Linda Lewis: “They admitted to shoplifting the items and handed the over without further incident.”
Katherine Russell was summonsed to appear at Kent County Courthouse where her charge was dismissed on paying a $200 fine and doing community service.
That fall Katherine Russell enrolled in a Communications course at Suffolk University, Boston, an act that led to her meeting Tamerlan Tsranaev in a nightclub and the relationship that would ultimately derail her college dreams completely.
Zubeidat Tsarnaeva, the mother of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, could be jailed if she returns to the US to see her hospitalized son, it has been revealed.
Zubeidat Tsarnaeva, 45, now lives in Dagestan, Russia
Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, was killed in a gunbattle with cops on Friday. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, is in fair condition in a Boston hospital where he is being treated for injuries sustained in the same shootout.
ABC News reported on Tuesday that Zubeidat Tsarnaeva failed to show up at a court hearing stemming from a July 2012 arrest for shoplifting.
So if she returns to the US to visit her hospitalized son Dzhokhar or make burial arrangements for Tamerlan, she could be arrested on an outstanding warrant.
Zubeidat Tsarnaeva allegedly stole $1,600 worth of clothes from a Massachusetts Lord & Taylor store.
Zubeidat Tsarnaeva, the mother of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, could be jailed if she returns to the US to see her hospitalized son
She was charged with two counts of malicious/wanton damage and defacement to property after allegedly swiping the merchandise from the retailer’s Natick, Massachusetts location in June 2012.
Zubeidat Tsarnaeva was due in court on October 25 last year for a hearing in the case, but never showed up.
The Lord & Taylor location is not the same as the one on Boyleston Street in Boston, where a surveillance camera captured what police say is her younger son dropping a pressure cooker bomb that was hidden inside a backpack.
Zubeidat Tsarnaeva additionally faces questioning by US investigators, who have traveled to Dagestan to speak with her.
A British research suggests that self-service checkouts are turning many shoppers into criminals.
The figures were revealed in a study of 4,952 shoppers by money-saving website watchmywallet.co.uk. They paint an alarming picture of just how many shoppers are willing to act dishonestly to save money.
Although shoplifting can carry a custodial sentence, very few are handed out.
Almost a third of shoppers have admitted to stealing while putting items through the scanners, with many tricking the machines by giving the wrong information.
Additionally, a quarter of those who did not steal admitted their only reason for not doing so was fear of being caught.
The checkouts, which rely on users to scan items, are often poorly supervised – making it easy to abuse the system.
Shoppers admitted to using a wide range of techniques, including slipping extra items through and lying about which items they had.
The most common ruse was to select cheaper fruit or vegetable items when weighing them before paying.
Other popular methods included always selecting “small” when asked the size of items such as salad boxes, as well as bagging goods without scanning.
A British research suggests that self-service checkouts are turning many shoppers into criminals
Supermarket checkouts have devices which detect when an item not paid for makes it into the bagging area, giving rise to the now familiar phrase “unexpected item in the bagging area”.
However, staff regularly overrides the checkout in order to keep queues moving.
When shop staff are not present, small items can easily be slipped into a bag unnoticed and, if challenged, passed off by the customer as a mistake.
Items without barcodes, such as loose fruit and vegetables, provided the greatest opportunities to cheat.
A sixth of shoppers admitted to being dishonest when asked to enter an item manually.
A common trick is to select the cheapest vegetable, typically white onions, when putting a more valuable item through, such as oranges.
Half of those who admitted to cheating said they selected a cheaper item when putting loose items through.
According to experts, offenders are often not driven by poverty but just take advantage of the fact they are unlikely to get caught.
Beverley Stone, a psychologist, said: “Often the people who choose not to obey the rules just don’t have a conscience. They only do the right thing if they think they might be caught, so if the chances are slim they’ll do it.
“I don’t think they can be motivated by poverty because they’ll still be paying for some of the shopping – so they can’t be that poor. These statistics show a lack of morals in this country today.”
The figures come in the wake of a series of cases involving celebrities accused of shoplifting. Earlier this year, television chef Antony Worrall Thompson was cautioned for shoplifting five times in 16 days from a branch of Tesco.
Staff spotted him on camera bagging up goods in the selfcheckout area without paying.
Last year, Lindsay Lohan was sentenced to 360 hours’ community service in the US for stealing a necklace.
And last September, Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea was challenged by Tesco staff after he allegedly ate a doughnut which he had not paid for.