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Area couple arrested after trying to steal carts full of merchandise at Batesville Walmart

An area couple has been arrested and charged with two felonies when they tried to steal over $2,200 in merchandise from the Batesville Walmart Supercenter, according to authorities.

Batesville Police Chief Alan Cockrill said 29-year-old Justin Hanes Hager and 40-year-old Cordelia Jane Nugent have been charged with commercial burglary and theft of property.

The chief said Nugent had a shopping cart full of merchandise on Sunday and had exited the Garden Center entrance/exit doors without paying. When she was confronted, she told the store associate, she had just gone out to look for her boyfriend. She quickly went back into the store before officer Rick King arrived. A little later, the store’s loss prevention specialist, Greg Sims, followed a man, later identified as Hager, pushing a cart full of merchandise, none of which was bagged, to a Dodge Caravan parked near the Garden Center area of the store’s parking area where Nugent was waiting for Hager.  

Sims said he confronted Hager, and Hager couldn’t produce a receipt for the merchandise which included camping equipment, food items, personal hygiene items and automotive merchandise. The value of the items totaled $2,240.14.

Officer King took both Hager and Nugent into custody and to jail. Chief Cockrill said Hager will be charged as a habitual offender, having been previously convicted of two felony crimes.

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