Handyman who found possible theft money in Lakewood Church’s walls says he deserves reward

HOUSTON – The plumber responsible for finding a large sum of money inside the walls of a Houston megachurch now says he believes he should get a reward.

The man, who asked to remain anonymous, gave KPRC 2 insight into the moment he found the loot inside Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church back on Nov. 10.

“That’s probably the most exciting thing that I’ve ever seen or done in my life,” said the plumber.

SEE ALSO: Plumber discovers money, checks in wall of Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church years after $600K burglary

According to details provided in the initial investigation, Houston police said evidence suggests this case is connected to the March 9, 2014 theft report of undisclosed amounts of money at the church.

The plumber told KPRC 2 that, although he didn’t find information on the suspect, he still believes he should be rewarded for his discovery.

“I didn’t solve their case, but I solved very key important clues as to what could or may have happened there,” he said.

Crime Stoppers originally offered a $25,000 reward for the information leading to a suspect’s arrest. However, because of the expired statute of limitations on this felony theft case, Deputy Director Nichole Christoph says the plumber will not get any reward from them.

“That doesn’t preclude Lakewood [Church] from giving him a reward, or a combination from HPD congratulating him on doing the right thing,” Christoph said. “Unfortunately, Crime Stoppers is out of the picture at that point.”

However, if the plumber had not fixed the loose toilet at the church, the money would still be in the walls.

“I feel like I should get something,” the man said. “I feel like some type of reward should get offered to me.”

The news about the discovery came to light on a radio morning show at 100.3 The Bull.

“There was a loose toilet in the wall, and we removed the tile,” the plumber said over the phone. “We 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!’”

HPD is continuing to investigate both cases.


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About the Authors:

Moriah Ballard joined the KPRC 2 digital team in the fall of 2021. Prior to becoming a digital content producer in Southeast Texas and a Houstonian, Moriah was an award-winning radio host in her hometown of Lorain, Ohio and previously worked as a producer/content creator in Cleveland. Her faith, family, and community are her top passions.

Emmy award winning journalist born and raised in Alabama. College football fanatic and snow cone lover! Passionate about connecting with the community to find stories that matter.