George Lindsey is the co-host of the morning show the Morning Bullpen at 100.3 The Bull in Houston, Texas. During a recent segment, the show asked listeners to call in and tell them about items of value they had found. Lindsey said they had been “blown away” by the responses, particularly a story regarding Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church.
“There was a loose toilet in the wall and we removed the tile,” the plumber said. “Went to go remove the toilet, and I moved some insulation away, and about 500 envelopes fell out of the wall and I was like—oh wow.”
After finding the stashed loot, the plumber alerted Lakewood Church’s maintenance supervisor, telling 100.3 The Bull, “I went ahead and turned it all in.”
The plumber then shared with the morning show hosts about an ongoing 7-year investigation by the Houston Police Department (HPD) into $600,000 that had been stolen from a safe at Lakewood Church in 2014.
The amount of money discovered by the plumber wasn’t mentioned, but the odd story got Lindsey intrigued as to why the money was hidden in the wall and whether the two events are connected.
“Don’t you want to know what happened? I mean, they stole the money, but they didn’t get it out of the wall,” Lindsey told KPRC. “Did they have an accident, you know what I mean? It’s like, why did they never go back? If it’s that money, why did they never go back?”
Lakewood Church released a statement saying, “Recently, while repair work was being done at Lakewood Church, an undisclosed amount of cash and checks were found. Lakewood immediately notified the Houston Police Department and is assisting them with their investigation.”
The Houston Chronicle reported on March 11, 2014 that Lakewood Church released a statement to church members saying that cash, checks, and credit card information was stolen from the church’s safe. A spokesperson for the HPD confirmed that $200,000 in cash and $400,000 in checks were stolen. The church’s statement urged its members to keep a close eye on their bank accounts in case their credit cards were used for fraudulent purchases.
Lakewood Church said that the stolen funds were fully insured. According to KPRC, in 2014 Crime Stoppers of Houston offered a $25,000 reward for anyone who had information that would lead to the arrest of the person who stole the church’s money.