Court records reveal $7,300 shopping spree that landed Smokin’ Joe’s BBQ owner in jail

OLATHE, Kan. — Court documents reveal more details into the $7,300 spending spree that led to multiple charges against an Olathe barbecue restaurant owner.

Matthew Sander

Matthew R. Sander, owner of Smokin’ Joe’s Bar-B-Q, was charged with seven counts of identity theft, six counts of misdemeanor theft, one count of felony theft and one count of criminal use of a credit card in Johnson County.

Court documents state that the victim told police he went to Smokin’ Joe’s on Jan. 28 and paid for his meal using his financial card. The next morning, he couldn’t find his card. He called Smokin’ Joe’s but employees could not find it.

That same day he checked his credit card statement and found nine purchases totaling $7,355.79 that he did not make. All were made on Jan. 28.

The transactions included:

  • $859.02 at Party Time Liquor
  • $32.60 at Conoco
  • $596.58 at Bed, Bath & Beyond
  • $495.81 at the Kansas City BBQ Store
  • $1,575.32 at Kohl’s
  • $936.05 at Academy Sports
  • $999.34 at Home Depot
  • $1,538.20 at Bed, Bath & Beyond
  • $322.87 at Garozzo’s Ristorante

Police contacted the various establishments. The employee at Party Time Liquor remembered that large transaction and gave police a description of the suspect and his vehicle.

Bed, Bath & Beyond provided surveillance footage, as did Home Depot and Academy Sports. Police could see the man making the purchases was wearing a sweater with a Smokin’ Joe’s BBQ logo on it.

Police attempted to contact Sander on his cell phone and at Smokin’ Joe’s, but were not able to reach him. He later called back and told them he would be calling an attorney.

Officers arrested Sander at his home on March 10. Taking inventory of his property, police found a store credit card from Home Depot and a Kohl’s card.

The 54-year-old was already on bond and is already facing several charges in Johnson County for similar alleged crimes.

On March 2, Sander was charged with identity theft, criminal use of a financial card and theft from alleged crimes on Jan. 25 in Overland Park involving a different victim. He was also charged in December for felony theft after he allegedly stole several Bose soundsystems from an Overland Park Sam’s Club.

For the most recent charges, Sander’s bond has been set at $25,000.