Despite isolated skirmishes, an increased law enforcement presence combined with stepped-up store security measures helped keep major incidents at Victor Valley Black Friday sales to a minimum, officials said.


"We work very well together with our local retailers," said Deputy John Clough of the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Hesperia station. "I think the increased police presence helped keep things from getting too out of hand."


Black Friday, the Friday after Thanksgiving, is the traditional beginning of the December holiday shopping season and is one of the biggest shopping days of the year. The term originated with the Philadelphia police department in the 1960s, in reference to the heavier demand on law enforcement that day each year.


There were reports, though, of a verbal fight breaking out a little after midnight at the Victorville Toys "R" Us, but store security and Victorville deputies patrolling the area, helped calm the situation.


"I was kinda far back from the door, but a group of people started yelling and getting kind of crazy," said midnight shopper Carlos Reyes of Victorville. "I don't know what started it."


Victorville, Hesperia and Apple Valley had extra deputies in the areas of the larger shopping centers, officials said.


No arrests were reported immediately after most stores opened their doors.


While some of the stations have always had more officials working Black Friday, Hesperia, which does not have as many large retailers as the other two cities, just recently began assigning a dedicated deputy to cover Kmart and Super Target and retailers welcomed the help.


According to Super Target officials, more than twice the number of people lined up for deals this year as compared to last.


"I think it only makes sense that the cops are here," said Reyes. "People can get out of control for these sales. Sometimes the savings aren't worth it if people are getting hurt."


Beatriz E. Valenzuela may be reached at 951-6276 or at BValenzuela@VVDailyPress.com. Follow us on Twitter at Twitter.com/HesperiaStar.