Jessica ‘Nikki’ Conger Charged with Shoplifting

By Brittany Kyles  |  WBBJ

JACKSON, Tenn. –On Sunday, Jessica ‘Nikki’ Conger is cited with misdemeanor shoplifting at Walmart on Emporium Drive, this is according to court documents.

Conger was in the self checkout area just before 3 p.m. when documents said she failed to ring up 28 items, totaling over $84, according to the citation.

Jackson Mayor Scott Conger wanted to take the opportunity to stand up for his wife, who he said is wrongfully accused in an interview Tuesday.

When asked if his wife wants to speak on her behalf, Mayor Conger said, “you see the thing is that I put my name on the ballot, I’m the one in public office, the only reason that this is a story is because of who I am.”

Mayor Conger expresses throughout the interview the incident is a misunderstanding.

“She spent $200 dollars at Walmart and whatever she was accused of, she even offered that whatever she was accused of, I don’t even want it, I’ll just pay for it, it’s not about stealing anything,” said Mayor Conger.

“There were items there, four items I know that were not individually rung up and not individually rung up two times, three times, there were items that my daughter brought into the store, that were counted in that 28,” said Mayor Conger.

Tuesday afternoon Mayor Conger writes in a Facebook post “we let our children add items to the cart to avoid a scene.”

Mayor Conger said it’s usual for his children to put things into the cart without them knowing.

“There was never an attempt made to go to the door, and leave with the buggy, she actually went directly to the counter, to talk to the clerk,” said Mayor Conger.

He also said his wife and daughter were escorted to a loss prevention room, for questioning for hours.

On Facebook Mayor Conger wrote, “my 3-year-old was a prisoner of Walmart,” he adds “in the meantime, I hear Kroger grocery pickup is fantastic.”

“I think the biggest lesson that we learn from all this is if you don’t want to be detained for 5 hours, have their child use the restroom on themselves, miss their nap, miss their lunch, then shop local,” said Mayor Scott Conger.

Jessica ‘Nikki’ Conger must report to the Madison County Criminal Justice Complex for booking and processing by August 2.

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To add to the story let’s take a look at what the Tennessee law states. Tennessee Code, Title 39, Chapter 14, Part 1, Section 39-14-146 (Theft of Merchandise)

A Shoplifting occurs when a person commits theft of property with the intent to deprive a merchant of the merchandise’s stated price by knowingly:

  • Concealing or removing the merchandise;
  • Altering or removing any price marking on the merchandise;
  • Transferring the merchandise from one container to another;
  • Causing a sales recording device (i.e. cash register) to show less than the merchant’s stated price;
  • Removing, destroying, deactivating, or evading a component of an anti-shoplifting device to commit or facilitate a theft;
  • Using an instrument, device, or container to commit or facilitate a theft; or
  • Activating or interfering with a fire alarm system to commit or facilitate a theft.

Considering the response the Mayor presented and interpreted by WBBJ and The Jackson Sun (RAG) in different articles we believe that Walmart and the City of Jackson Police Department misinterpreted the law as they have done in the past on other areas. We understand Walmart’s desire to end the continual flow of theft from their stores but that could be resolved by redesigning their facilities at both entrance and check out. We hang this one on Walmart but they could not do it without the compliance of the Jackson Police Department and their lack of understanding the law.

Let us add one more point…. we know that the young family is just learning to deal with their children and that this is always difficult and while we do not condone the children’s behavior we are not so tolerant of the parents. Families have been raising children for years and taking them to stores and teaching them to behave in public is an honored profession… so while we don’t condone Walmart’s behavior toward the incident we can not condone the family as well.

This is another millennial trait that needs repair.



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