At around 8pm on Friday (Black Friday), dozens of people invaded Best Buy stores in two Minneapolis-area suburbs in massive "smash-and-grab" operations, running in, grabbing merchandise off the shelves, and running back out.
The incidents occurred in Burnsville, 15 miles south of Minneapolis, and in Maplewood, just north of St. Paul. In both cases, police arrived at the scene long after the suspects had gotten away.
These incidents appear to be possibly inspired by similar incidents in the state of California, in a completely unrelated and far-away part of the country. Because of this, there is no small concern about the phenomenon spreading countrywide.
In one particular case in Oakland, a retired policeman was shot to death while protecting a journalist and crew attempting to report on the phenomenon.
There is no word as of the time of this writing as to how much merchandise was taken in the two incidents.
A concerned shopper at the scene told the press when interviewed, "A lot of crazy theft stuff going on. Not good, especially with the car theft going on and all that sort of thing, you gotta be careful."
"As an industry we are working with local law enforcement and taking additional security precautions where it makes sense," commented a Best Buy spokesperson.
Bob Fletcher, the Sheriff of Ramsey County, had a much more pointed statement to make, saying "We can't tolerate that kind of behavior. Just as a society, we just can't."
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