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a pew bob Plumber finds money in wall of pastor’s church years after €600,000 burglary

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Pastor Joel Osteen

Pastor Joel Osteen

Pastor Joel Osteen

A plumber doing maintenance work at pastor Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church stumbled across cheques and cash hidden in a wall – a discovery that may yield clues to an unsolved burglary reported by the congregation seven years ago.

The unexpected find was revealed on Thursday when the worker called in to a Houston radio morning show that had invited listeners to share stories about valuable items they had randomly found over the years.

The caller who has only been identified as ‘Justin’ said he was on a job at the megachurch on November 10 when he made the discovery.

“There was a loose toilet in the wall, and we removed the tile,” he said. “We went to go remove the toilet, and I moved some insulation away and about 500 envelopes fell out of the wall.”

The envelopes were filled with thousands of dollars in cash and cheques.

Back in 2014, Lakewood Church, led by Mr Osteen and wife Victoria, reported to police the loss of more than $600,000 (€530,000) in a burglary.

The maintenance man’s discovery was confirmed by Lakewood Church to Houston’s KPRC-TV, the first to report the story, though police have yet to confirm whether the money found is the same as that stolen years ago.

“Recently, while repair work was being done at Lakewood Church, an undisclosed amount of cash and cheques were found,” the spokesperson said. “Lakewood immediately notified the Houston Police Department and is assisting them with their investigation.”

The church did not say how much money was recovered from the toilet wall last month.

Lakewood a church that attracts tens of thousands of worshipers to Osteen’s weekly services was rocked in March 2014 when the pastor announced that hundreds of thousands of dollars had been stolen from the church’s safe. A police spokesman said at the time that $200,000 in cash and $400,000 in cheques were reported stolen.

The funds were fully insured, according to a Lakewood statement, and the church was working with its insurance company “to restore the stolen funds to the church”.


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