Black Friday: Robbery, Shots Fired - Is The Store Still Open?

Black Friday: Robbery, Shots Fired - Is The Store Still Open?
Romeoville PD

Black Friday and its absurdity began in earnest on Thanksgiving this year. So absurd that my title Black Friday: Robbery, Shots Fired – Is The Store Still Open? could nearly sum up all that needs to be said about the official start of the holiday shopping season. People want their deals and are blind to everything else!

Of course I have always felt that most Black Friday Deals aren’t really all that much of a bargain as heavily discounted product generally means you are either getting sub-standard, low quality product or getting things that are being discontinued by manufacturers to make way for the better stuff that will be er heavily discounted shortly after the holidays. Hmm.

However, trudging off to the nearest retailer that opens early for those Black Friday Deals is a traditional rat race some people just can’t resist rather than spending that one precious day a year at home with their family. Oh well – what are you gonna do right?

However, it gets all too weird sometimes too. I mean how many times have we heard of people being trampled by those behind them just as the doors of a store open? And that isn’t all either as people have seen their purchases stolen from the trunks of their cars as they store hop or worse yet – fall victim to pickpockets while being soothed by music through their mp3 player headphones.

But last night’s event at a Romeoville Illinois Kohl’s store kind of topped it all as three scumbag thieves tried to take advantage of the first big holiday shopping night when they got caught trying to relieve the store of its goods without paying for them. Luckily they were caught but not before a simple robbery could have turned into a deadly encounter for a lot of innocent people.

Matter of fact, given the accounts of what happened, it is pretty amazing that no one other than the alleged thieves and a cop who had his arm jammed in the car door as it tried to flee and was dragged a substantial distance before his partner unloaded at least three shots into the vehicle to bring it to a halt, weren’t

So thank the Romeoville cops for turning a highly charged dangerous situation into what could almost be considered a non-event. Well at least for one shopper who in a holiday stupor could only ask “What Happened? Is The Store Still Open?

Did you get that? IS THE STORE STILL OPEN?

Man talk about a person not wanting to miss those holiday bargains huh? You know when I read that part the insanity of the holiday shopping season came quickly into perspective for me – it seems people are so consumed about getting their precious bargains that their natural ability to keep their guards up seem to be diminished. And that can be a dangerous thing folks.

Let’s face it, the Annual Holiday Shopping Season brings out more than just the shoppers. Thieves are also in over abundance especially given an economy that just hasn’t improved for the masses. Sure there have been some winners in President Barack Obama’s new economic world order but it seems to be that the same old results have applied with money going to money.

Average folks, meanwhile, are left to their own devices knowing that any jobs they get will pay less than the one they had before – and that’s assuming they can even get a job at all. I am sorry folks, but things haven’t gotten better despite the many pronouncements from the hamsters taking the White House News Conference Podium to tell us otherwise.

The economy sucks, people are under-employed and under-paid or not employed at all. That is what the year 2013 has brought us thanks to the political gridlock that has plagued the nation and its citizens. Unfortunately all that does is create anxiety and the desire to get whatever bargains are to be had when they are available. Add in the extra pressure of the holidays and, well, people can wind up doing desperate things.

But let’s get back to last night’s story. There is no excuse for those who make it their life’s work to rip others off and the three alleged Kohl’s thieves fall into the category of career criminals. And those are the one’s people must watch out for as they go out bargain hunting.

So please folks – make the holidays a safe one by paying attention to more than the pursuit of the bargain. And by the way don’t worry whether the stores will be open or not – they will be! After all there are 8 less shopping days this year.


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  • As Alex Stone of ABC News put it, a difference is that it wasn't a Walmart, but that's because there are more Walmarts.

    The only other difference is that the cops were there because of the anticipated crowd. How many times does one see a Police Blotter in the hyperlocal community newspaper "Clerks at a store in the --- block of --- [always the address of a mall] reported that two shoplifters stole --- [usually expensive clothing or an Apple product]."? Occasionally a security guard chases the accused into the parking lot, and occasionally gps leads the police to a fencing operation, but normally the source does not print that the crime was solved. As you indicated, most of those are operations, and not just some poor teen needing a bra.

    The other thing is that the time shifting into Thanksgiving is insane. From best I saw on TV, by the time the morning news got to Woodfield, the mall was empty except for the few roaming teenage girls you usually see at a mall, as opposed to the old "traffic copter shows that there is no parking." I don't think it made any difference that that off brand flat screen TV went on sale at 8 p.m. instead of 6 a.m.

    I made another comment to my girlfriend about why I was not going shopping Friday, but since it is too ethnically based, I'll pass on it here. However, I'll observe that when there was a Sunday paper, it was as full of ads as the Thursday one was.

  • In reply to jack:

    Last point first - Sunday's paper will resemble Saturday's which means it will be devoid of substance and ads - the Thanksgiving Day Edition and its increased cost (unless one is a subscriber and luckily I am) has become the standard I guess.

    As for the cops being there in Romeoville, the way I heard it it seems Kohls didn't have much of a security presence by design and that should kind of put people on more of an alert during the shopping season. Hell Wal-Mart down the road from me is pretty much the same in that they rely on the local PD (and at taxpayer cost) because they certainly aren't patrolling the neighborhoods.

    And that's a real pet peeve every time I see multiple police cars parked in front of these Big-Box stores - they should ensure the safety of their customers and secure their own stores without squeezing it out of the taxpayers along with their abatement's.

  • In reply to Michael Ciric:

    Last point only: I guess that the trade off is that they are generating sales tax revenue, but as the Police Blotter indicates, don't have sufficient security.

    Unless it is Bolingbrook, I don't think the police have much to do, and would otherwise be generating revenue, oh, I mean writing traffic tickets.

  • In reply to jack:

    I can see that Jack but I would say Romeoville and Bolingbrook are in the same boat as they share the burden of what's going on in unincorporated Plainfield - not good. We know too many of the cops in Bolingbrook, Romeoville, Plainfield and Will County - it is almost as if there is an infestation and it keeps them all busy - you just don't hear about it as much. But hey I get the tradeoff point too.

  • Here was the situation: a cop ( a person's) live was endangered by some thugs with a long criminal history. Being dragged by a car can lead to serious bodily harm or death. The driver was ordered to stop ( he never should have started), and he did not. He was endangering the cop being dragged, the other cops, and possibly other innocent bystanders. He needed to be neutralized. There is always a chance of others being injured by the reflexive action taken by the other cops, but a car speeding away with a cop hanging on can endanger a lot of other people with 3000lbs of out of control weaponry headed across a parking lot and oblivious shoppers headed to the beacon of Black Friday

    I really didn't notice big crowds at malls or big box retailers on Friday. I think the gig is up on the Black Friday farce, except for the media, which loves to report on same store sales, parking lot capacity, the "booming Obama (Jack, take notice) economy" and the barfy sounding "Christmas Shopping Season".

  • In reply to Richard Davis:

    Of course the police did everything right here so far as I can tell Richard and acted more than reasonably. My only concern is that people should be more aware when going out because things like this (mostly thefts and pickpockets) will occur. It seems to me people forget there is a heightened likelihood of crime you know? As for the crowds, I really haven't seen the numbers (nor do I really care as I never go out on Black Friday when my handy dandy laptop and Amazon will do just fine). Too much insanity even without the crime. But I suspect you are right about the jig being up. Besides the economy and jobs situation is still pretty screwed up. Seems the biggest crowds will be last minute as they break down and give in?

  • In a related "stupid criminal" of the day, Tribune reports that someone robbed a pizza delivery driver, but the victim traced the perp's phone number on Facebook and identified him. Like those who steal iPhones not knowing that they have gps, you can't make this up.

  • In reply to jack:

    No you can't hahahaha

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