Hawthorne (CA) - Some lucky buyers of the PlayStation 3 console had their elation turn to fear as they tried to figure out how to get home without being robbed. We were inside the Hawthorne Circuit City store as the first group of buyers entered. After purchasing their games and console, one person said "I'm scared", while another told us of their "foolproof" plan to get home.
We interviewed the group at 11 pm, one hour before the doors were to open for the midnight November 17 launch. They were excited, but had also heard reports of robberies and drive-by shootings of PS3 campers and buyers. Their jitters were only amplified after we relayed information from two Hawthorne police officers that two PS3 robberies had occurred just a few miles away.
Circuit City hired off-duty Hawthorne police officers to help keep the peace outside and inside the store. We saw almost a dozen police officers keeping the peace and a few even walked inside to check out the consoles and games themselves.
After purchasing their consoles, the first group of buyers huddled together inside the doors. They decided to drive off in a convoy and to only have one console in each car, so a robbery would only net a single PlayStation 3.