A plumber who found envelopes of money stashed in a wall at Joel Osteen’s Houston megachurch has received a $20,000 Crime Stoppers reward for the find.
The plumber, identified as Justin, made the discovery when he was removing a toilet in the bathroom of Lakewood Church on Nov. 10, according to local reports.
Houston police were notified and said in a statement that “evidence recovered from the checks” suggests the stashed loot was connected to a March 2014 theft at the church.
In the robbery, $600,000 was stolen from the church safe, KRPC Channel 2 reported.
Following the crime, the church gave Crime Stoppers $20,000 to help solve the case, KTRK reported.
Two years later, with the case still unsolved, the church decided to switch the $20,000 incentive into a charitable donation to Crime Stoppers.
As a result of the latest developments, “we are gifting that same amount of money to this Good Samaritan and wishing he and his family a wonderful holiday season,” Crime Stoppers CEO Rania Mankarious told KTRK.
Police said the plumber found checks and money orders along with the cash stashed in the church’s walls.
The discovery only came to light after the plumber shared his story on a local radio station.
“There was a loose toilet in the wall, and we removed the tile,” he told host George Lindsey on 100.3 “The Bull”
“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!’”