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Published On: Wed, Mar 12th, 2014

Lakewood Church in Houston, pastored by Joel Osteen, robbed for $600K

An estimated $600,000 in cash, checks and credit card data was stolen from Joel Osteen‘s Lakewood Church this weekend in Houston.

Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas photo by Hequals2henry via wikimedia commons

Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas photo by Hequals2henry via wikimedia commons

According to a statement sent to church members, someone allegedly stole cash, checks, and credit card information from the church safe, reported the Houston Chronicle in a Mar. 11 article.

Chruch officials are calling on members who had given over the weekend to closely monitor their accounts for fraud.

“The funds were fully insured, and we are working with our insurance company to restore the stolen funds to the church,” Lakewood’s statement read (full text below).

Victor Senties, spokesman for the Houston Police Department, said $200,000 in cash and $400,000 in checks were stolen from the church’s safe  sometime between early afternoon Sunday and Monday morning, when a church employee first discovered the money missing.

Senties declined to release further details about the robbery.

Donald Iloff, Jr., a church spokesman, said Tuesday that he couldn’t comment further on the theft.

“Lakewood Church is working in conjunction with the Houston Police Department to investigate this matter. We do not want to compromise the investigation by commenting at this time,” he said.

Church members worried about their donations are asked to call Lakewood’s customer service line at 713-491-1506.

Here’s the full statement from Lakewood:

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. If you made a contribution during these weekend services, we would encourage you to pay close attention to your accounts over the next several days and weeks and report any suspicious activity to your financial institution or credit card company immediately.

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. 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.

If you have any questions about this matter, please contact our Customer Service Department at 713-491-1506. The integrity of our congregants’ information is of utmost importance to us. And, we would like to thank you for your continued support.

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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