Crime Stoppers of Houston gifts $20,000 to plumber who found money in Lakewood Church wall

U.S. & World News

Lakewood Church. Getty Images

HOUSTON (KIAH) – After no response from Lakewood Church on the money found in the wall recently, Crime Stoppers of Houston is gifting $20,000 to the man who found it.

In 2014, Lakewood Church reported a theft of approximately $600,000 in cash and checks and Crime Stoppers of Houston helped Houston police, Lakewood and the community find those responsible. 

At the time, Crime Stoppers of Houston offered a cash reward of up to $5,000. Lakewood Church added a supplement reward of $20,000 yielding a potential reward of up to $25,000 for the person or persons with information leading to identification, charging and/or arrest  in the case.

By 2016, Lakewood decided to shift that supplemental reward into a charitable donation to Crime Stoppers of Houston.

On Wednesday, Nov. 10, HPD reported that during a renovation project, a plumber had discovered a large amount of money hidden in a wall. Evidence from the recovered checks suggests that the discovery of was connected to the March 2014 theft. Police are still investigating.

On Friday, Dec. 3, as more details were revealed, Crime Stoppers CEO Rania Mankarious began talking to Deputy Director Nichole Christoph who also discussed the issues with their law enforcement partners. Mankarious also began asking the Crime Stoppers Executive Committee if the organization could gift $20,000, the amount originally given to Crime Stoppers by Lakewood, to the Good Samaritan plumber who made the discovery and turned in the money.

On Tuesday, Mankarious received the approval to move forward with the gift.

Crime Stoppers of Houston is a public safety organization that thrives on the public safety of all communities. We believe that it takes all of us, working together, to keep Houston safe and thriving. In 2014, Lakewood Church gave us $20,000 to work on this case. In 2016, they chose to gift us those funds for operations. Today, we are gifting that same about of money to this Good Samaritan and wishing he and his family a wonderful holiday season.

Crime Stoppers CEO Rania Mankarious

If you have a tip about an unsolved crime, call 713-222-TIPS or report online at www.crime-stoppers.org.

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