Joel Osteen's Lakewood Church Theft Still a Mystery; $25,000 Reward Offered

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  • Pastor Joel Osteen speaks Tuesday, July 2, 2013, at the 2013 Hillsong Conference in Sydney, Australia.
    (Photo: screen grab)
    Pastor Joel Osteen speaks Tuesday, July 2, 2013, at the 2013 Hillsong Conference in Sydney, Australia.
By Stoyan Zaimov, Christian Post Reporter
March 24, 2014|3:25 pm

As the $600,000 theft at Joel Osteen's Lakewood Church two weeks ago remains a mystery, the megachurch is offering a $25,000 reward offered to anyone who can provide clues.

The Associated Press reported on Saturday that Crime Stoppers, the national organization aimed at preventing and solving crimes in the U.S., announced the reward for information. No arrests have yet been made in the case.

The robbery occurred on the weekend of March 8. Lakewood told its 45,000-strong congregation in a message: "We were heartbroken to learn today that funds were stolen from the church over the weekend. This includes cash, checks and envelopes containing written credit card information, and it is limited only to those funds contributed in the church services on Saturday, March 8 and Sunday, March 9, 2014."

A Lakewood employee discovered that the church's safe was broken into on Monday morning, police said. Close to $200,000 of the stolen money is believed to be in cash, while the rest is in donations made by checks and credit card.

"It is important to note this was not an electronic data breach, but was instead limited to donations made in the services on March 8 and 9, 2014. You were not affected if you put your offering in a drop box, you gave online or through other electronic means, or you made a bookstore purchase," Lakewood noted.

"We are working with the police to fully investigate the incident. The funds were fully insured, and we are working with our insurance company to restore the stolen funds to the church."

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