Accused thief back in jail, less than two weeks after being freed by jury

Matthew C. Reynard

Matthew Reynard’s freedom was short-lived.

Less than two weeks after a jury acquitted him in a theft case and he was released from jail for the first time in months, Reynard got arrested again this week on suspicion of … theft.

Reynard, 37, of Lawrence, was booked into jail early Tuesday morning on suspicion of theft, shoplifting, criminal use of a financial card and possession of stolen property, according to jail records.

A four-hour crime spree preceded that arrest, police say. According to Officer Drew Fennelly, a spokesman for the Lawrence Police Department:

Just before midnight, a purse was stolen at a downtown drinking establishment. About 1 a.m., police were dispatched to Walmart, where someone was trying to make a large purchase with credit cards suspected of being stolen — and turned out to be from the purse taken earlier. Before officers arrived, the suspect left Walmart, also taking merchandise that wasn’t paid for.

About 4 a.m., police were dispatched to Checkers grocery store, where a suspect was trying to make a large purchase with stolen credit cards. Officers caught the suspect there and found him in possession of the credit cards from the purse and the merchandise from Walmart.

In July, Reynard was charged with stealing thousands of dollars in equipment from an animal lab at the University of Kansas. On Nov. 9, he was released from jail after a jury found him not guilty of the charges: one count of burglary and two counts of theft, all felonies.

— I’m the Journal-World’s public safety reporter. Reach me by email at or by phone at 785-832-7187. I’m also on Twitter, @saramarieshep.