CRIME STOPPERS

Plumber Who Found Money in Lakewood Church Wall Calls $20K Reward ‘A Blessing'

Police say the money he discovered may be related to a 2014 robbery at Joel Osteen's megachurch

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The most famous plumber in Houston is now talking on camera after receiving a $20,000 reward from Crime Stoppers.

Justin Cauley, or Justin the Plumber, found stacks of cash and checks in the wall of Joel Osteen's Lakewood Church and alerted staff.

"My heart stopped, needless to say. I mean I have really had, I had no clue that would come about," Cauley said.

Cauley says when Crime Stoppers called, he thought he was in trouble. Instead, he got a check from the nonprofit.

"Bills are stacking up, like I said, work is getting slow," Cauley said. "I'm trying to make the best of it and today that light shined through."

The $20,000 check is part of the original Crime Stoppers reward for the 2014 robbery when $600,000 was taken from a safe.

Over the years, Lakewood made their portion into a charitable donation, this week the Crime Stoppers board said the man who found the money deserves the reward.

"For us, again, very odd. I've been running Crime Stoppers since 2013, been with the organization since 2006, I've never seen anything like this," said
Crime Stoppers CEO Raina Mandarious.

Lakewood Church representatives said in a statement to KPRC-TV they are "appreciative of the plumber and hope he pays the gift forward."

"This money is going to help tremendously," said Cauley, who wants to thank the Osteens.

"It's a bit of a blessing. Had you not had donated that money, I probably wouldn't be here today and I want to thank you for that," he said.

Cauley says he fully intends to pay it forward by donating a portion of his gift to the Houston SPCA and Crime Stoppers.

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