Panama City

Panama City, FL – Plumber who found money behind wall of Joel Osteen’s church given $20K reward

Panama City, FL –

TODAY – Pictured: Joel Osteen appears on NBC News’ ‘Today’ show – (Photo by: Peter Kramer / NBC / NBC Newswire / NBCUniversal via Getty Images)

(NEXSTAR) – Houston plumber credited with finding “about 500” envelopes full of cash and checks inside a bathroom wall at Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church is richer by $ 20,000 thanks to an award from the Crime Stoppers of Houston.

“Evidence from recovered checks suggests that the discovery was linked to the flight in March 2014”Of about $ 600,000 from the church, according to a press release from Crime Stoppers Tuesday. “The HPD (Houston Police Department) is still investigating. “

The “Good Samaritan” plumber stumbled upon the hidden money on Nov. 10 during a renovation project, according to Houston police.

“I went to remove the toilet and removed some insulation and about 500 envelopes fell off the wall. I was like, ‘Oh wow’, ”the plumber said on the Houston radio show, as first reported by KPRC.

Authorities are currently investigating whether the find had anything to do with a 2014 theft from the mega-church, police confirmed. (AP Photo / Pat Sullivan File)

The plumber also said he warned a church worker, who contacted authorities. It is not yet clear exactly how much money he found behind the wall.

Earlier this week, he told KPRC he was “just a little upset” that no one had contacted him from Lakewood Church. The plumber, who identified himself only as “Justin”, said he attended the Sunday service at the mega-church hoping Osteen would mention his act, but it never happened .

After the initial theft of $ 600,000, Crime Stoppers offered a standard $ 5,000 cash reward, with the church adding an additional $ 20,000 for information leading to an arrest.

Two years later, with the case still unresolved, Lakewood Church decided to turn their additional reward into a charitable donation to Crime Stoppers of Houston.

Crime Stoppers CEO Rania Manarious, who had spoken with law enforcement officials about increasing the amount of the plumber’s reward, was granted permission to do so on Friday.

“Houston Crime Stoppers is a public safety organization that prides itself on the public safety of all communities. We believe we all need to work together to keep Houston safe and prosperous. In 2014, Lakewood Church gave us $ 20,000 to work on this case. In 2016, they chose to donate these funds to us for operations. Today we are offering the same amount of money to this Good Samaritan and wish him and his family a wonderful holiday season.

Rania Mankarious, CEO of Crime Stoppers

The investigation continued on Wednesday, police said.

Plumber who found money behind wall of Joel Osteen’s church given $20K reward Source link Plumber who found money behind wall of Joel Osteen’s church given $20K reward

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