Mall shootings rumors, arrests:
The door-busting, bargain-bashing shopping enticements early on Black Friday brought out the worst in some Omaha shoppers.
Shortly after 1 a.m., Omaha police officers received numerous reports of a disturbance and gunshots being fired at Westroads Mall.
Officers determined that no shots had been fired. Shoppers had mistaken the sound of signs being knocked during a fight for gunfire, police said.
A 22-year-old Omaha man was arrested on suspicion of disorderly conduct in connection with the incident, police said.
About 2:45 a.m., police returned to Westroads to assist an off-duty officer who had a suspect in custody. Mall security had been alerted to an intoxicated 19-year-old man who had refused to leave the mall. Officers arrested the man on suspicion of trespassing, disorderly conduct and obstructing an officer.
About that same time, police received reports of possible gunshots at Oakview Mall and shoppers being trampled.
Not true, police determined.
The rumors grew out of confrontation between a shoplifting suspect and mall security, police said. Security officers were attempting to take the 21-year-old Omaha woman into custody inside a women's clothing store. The suspect, described as loud and uncooperative, responded with pepper spray in faces of the two security officers and a store employee.
Police said they determined that the woman also was carrying merchandise believed to have been stolen from Sears and identification that did not belong to her.
The woman was arrested on suspicion of three misdemeanor warrants, two misdemeanor counts of shoplifting, three counts of assault, disorderly conduct and criminal impersonation.
— Jay Withrow
Downtown record stores open early
About 40 people lined up outside of Homer's Music in the Old Market for Record Store Day's Black Friday event.
A little brother to the main Record Store Day in April, RSD's Black Friday featured about 60 exclusive vinyl and CD releases from bands such as the Rolling Stones, the White Stripes and Band of Horses at independent record stores.
The store's doors opened at 10 a.m. and customers sprinted to three areas of the store for CDs, singles and LPs.
Across the street at Drastic Plastic record store, only a few people lined up though the store had many of the same releases. Some weren't on the shelves, but the store was expecting a late shipment.
Though some of the day's exclusive releases sold quickly, employees at both stores encouraged vinyl fans to ask store staff about them. Both expected shipments of some items they didn't have yet and Homer's said they may be able to get items they sold out but other indie stores may have left over.
— Kevin Coffey
Duo on two-day prowl for deals:
Sisters Angela Gansolley, 33, and Lindsay Northam, 30, started shopping Thanksgiving night.
By 6:20 a.m. today, the duo, both wearing turkey-shaped hats, had been to Walgreens, Target, Wal-Mart, the Gap, Bath and Body Works and JC Penneys, where they were trying on discounted knee-high boots on sale for $20 and $40.
"We're still going to go to Kohls, Younkers, Sears and Toys R Us," Gansolley said.
The best deal the women snagged so far: $292 worth of toiletries at Walgreens for $62.
They'd bought a laundry-list of Christmas gifts, including bikes, a television, toys, appliances and linens.
The sisters said they hit Black Friday sales every year.
Most customers at JC Penney at Oakview mall were lining up at traditional checkout counters around 6a.m. Friday, but some would try the store's new mobile checkout system.
Store spokeswoman Annemarie Vinson said its been popular so far. The store has had the system for about a month.
"There's no line, she said, "and it's kind of fun."
Store employe Betty Lee demonstrated the device, which is an iPhone equipped with special software. Lee scanned a pair of pink corduroy pants and the item popped up on the screen.
In a few seconds she was ready to swipe the customers card -- people checking out at the mobile checkout have to pay with plastic.
Teresa Lautrup, 45, from Modale, Iowa, said shed never used a mobile checkout before today. She paid for her work shirts in the jewelry department, a long line of shoppers waiting at the traditional checkout behind her.
"I like it," she said. "It's fast and convenient."
Lautrup said shed been shopping since 4 a.m. and had plans to keep going all day.
— Sarah Baker-Hansen
Bargain shoppers on the hunt at Cabela's
A line studded with men in camouflage and orange hunting gear stretched around the La Vista Cabela's store Friday morning.
The first person in line arrived Thursday at 9 p.m., and store operations manager Matt Loughran said the store let that shopper in early, around 4 a.m.
The second and third people in line, father and son Paul and Josh Messerschmidt, drove from Missouri Valley, Iowa, to be at the Nebraska-based outdoor gear store at 2:30 a.m. Friday.
“We just came to look,” Paul Messerschmidt said. “We're Christmas shopping for ourselves.”
Loughran said around 2:30 a.m., Cabela's handed out 600 breakfast burritos and 40 dozen Krispy Kreme doughnuts to people waiting in line. Loughran said the atmosphere was festive.
People came into the store in an orderly fashion and no one ran, though some people had lists in their hands and headed quickly toward the back of the store.
Cabela's employees lined up near the door and cheered as the customers came inside.
The first 50 people in line received gift bags and the first 600 received a gift card good for a prize. Customers streamed to a front counter to pick up free hats and binoculars, among other prizes.
Nick Thompson, 28, was shopping for a camouflage jacket for himself, but also for Christmas presents.
“I'm shopping for everything I like,” he said.
A few minutes after the doors opened, “I'll be home for Christmas” started playing over the store's speaker system.
The holiday rush was on.
— Sarah Baker-Hansen
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