Imagine you're minding your own business looking for a new coat at Burlington Coat Factory on an idle Tuesday afternoon when a stretch Hummer Limo rolls up and out jumps Linda Brown, 45, who tells the entire store that she won a $1.5 million lottery prize and wanted to spend $500 on everyone in the store.
Sounds a little too good to be true doesn't it? After all, stories like this only happen in the movies, but lo and behold, Brown began paying for purchase after purchase using her debit card while the store became crowded with friends and family who had been alerted to the once-in-a-lifetime deal. The Columbus Dispatch reports that by 2 p.m. word had spread to so many shoppers that the lines wove through the entire store!
But, and here's why you're reading this here instead of watching a Hallmark movie, after several thousands of dollars in charges Brown's debit card could take no more and she announced that she would go to the bank for more cash to continue the charity. And so she retreated to her stretch Hummer and left, never to be seen at Burlington Coat Factory again.
You see. Linda Brown didn't win the lottery; she wasn't even going to the bank. Brown's wallet was as empty as the shelves back at Burlington Coat Factory, which didn't sit too well with her driver who, upset over being stiffed the $900 rental fee, turned her into the police.
But, the story doesn't end here. Back at the Burlington Coat Factory in Columbus, Ohio police and store managers had to inform a large crowd of shoppers that their Good Samaritan coupon had expired. To say the least, those assembled for $500 worth of coats and clothing, desperately needed as winter showed its face in Ohio today, were not happy with that news.
Despite the police presence the store became unruly with reactions ranging from simply leaving un-purchased goods where they had been standing in line, forming a giant centipede of coats, to angry individuals who took to throwing what they couldn't get for free!
According to the Associated Press, 24 police officers were called in to respond to the crowd, including Detective Steven Nace described the scene to the AP, saying, "It looks like [Hurricane] Katrina went through the store."
After the police spoke to Linda Brown they began to realize that something wasn't right, especially after they found out about her past police issues which included several warrants. Brown's daughter blames her mother's behavior on lack of medication which keeps these "extravagant" actions in check. Brown is currently in jail awaiting a mental evaluation and will likely face charges for inciting a riot.
On the bright side, nobody went home with fake coats!
Fake lotto winner causes riot at Burlington Coat Factory