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Joel Osteen’s church robbed of $600G in cash, checks

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FILE: Joel Osteen's church announced that $600,000 were stolen in donations. (Reuters)

Televangelist Joel Osteen's church in Houston announced Monday that $600,000 in Sunday donations were stolen from its safe last weekend, MyFoxHouston.com reported.

The heist at Lakewood Church wasn't discovered until  8:30 a.m. Monday morning when a church employee and off-duty Harris County Sheriff's Officer noticed the break in, the report said. Investigators believe the theft occurred sometime between Sunday afternoon and Monday morning.

The donations were from services on March 8 and March 9 and included cash, checks and credit cards. Lakewood has asked anyone who attended services this weekend to pay attention to their accounts and report any suspicious activity.

"The funds were fully insured, and we are working with our insurance company to restore the stolen funds to the church," the Lakewood statement said, according to The Houston Chronicle.

Lakewood stresses this was not a data breach, but says the theft was limited to donations made in the actual services.  

More than 40,000 people attend weekly services led by Osteen, whose televised sermons reach nearly 100 countries.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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