Donations Taken From Safe At Texas Megachurch
HOUSTON (CBSDFW.COM/AP) – The Houston megachurch led by Pastor Joel Osteen has been targeted by thieves who stole cash, checks and credit card information from a safe worth a reported $600,000.
Police spokeswoman Jodi Silva said Tuesday that nobody has been arrested in the theft from Lakewood Church. Silva declined to speculate the exact amount stolen.
“Given the fact that Lakewood is such a large church, obviously there’s a lot more money that is taken into that church between tithing and offering,” said Silva to Newsradio 1080 KRLD. “It’s definitely a substantial amount.”
Church officials are cooperating with police and had no further comment Tuesday.
The offerings were given Saturday and Sunday, but it’s unclear exactly when the funds were taken.
“It was actually an employee and an off-duty officer who provide security for the church. They believe it had occurred between 2:30 on Sunday and 8:30 in the morning,” said Silva.
Church officials say there’s no data breach and the stolen funds are insured. Credit card information was in donation envelopes.
Church members are encouraged to monitor their bank accounts for suspicious activity.
“Monitor your bank account if you believe that a check was stolen,” said Silva. “Contact the church to find out if yours was one of the checks.”
More than 38,000 people attend weekly services led by Osteen, whose televised sermons reach nearly 100 countries.
(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
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