Lakewood Church is light on funds these days – $600,000 was reported as stolen from celebrity pastors Joel and Victoria Osteen's Houston church. The burglary was discovered Monday, and churchgoers were informed of the enormous missing sum via email.
The Houston Chronicle on Tuesday 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.”
According to a statement posted Monday to the magachurch’s web site, church leaders were “heartbroken to learn [Monday] 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.”
The statement encourages those who made contributions on those days 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.”
According to the church statement, the funds were fully insured, and Lakewood is working to have them returned as soon as possible.
The burglary was discovered Monday at approximately 8:30 a.m. when an employee of Lakewood Church, along with an off duty Harris County Sheriff's Officer who works security at the church noticed that there was a break in.
Lakewood stressed that there was no data breach of any online account information, stating that the heist was limited to actual theft of cash, checks and credit card information.