Charges: Wisconsin manhunt suspect wrote apology to gun shop
JANESVILLE, Wis. (KMSP) - Like his own car he set on fire, the whereabouts of Joseph Jakubowski are up in smoke as the massive manhunt intensifies. More than 150 law enforcement officers, both local and federal, are searching for the Janesville, Wisconsin man whose anger with the government and police is highlighted by a 161-page manifesto mailed to President Donald Trump.
As of 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, approximately 650 tips have been received on the tip lines and investigators are actively pursuing more than 125 tips.
On Tuesday, the Rock County sheriff and Janesville police chief made the national media rounds asking for help, while the FBI increased the reward for information leading to an arrest to $20,000.
“We have increased the reward appealing to those in the public who may be able to assist us in a safe and peaceful resolution for all concerned,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge R. Justin Tolomeo.
This all comes one week after Jakubowski, 32, sent a 161-page manifesto to President Trump. On April 4, the night after mailing the manifesto, he stole 18 high-end weapons from the Armageddon Gun Store in Janesville, then set his car on fire. A SWAT raid revealed he was gone from his house.
Criminal charges have been filed in Rock County, Wisconsin against Jakubowski for burglary, possession of burglary tools and felony theft.
According to the criminal complaint, Jakubowski had just moved out of his sister’s home the day of the gun store burglary. His sister told police she was cleaning out his items and came across a document that appeared to be an apology letter to the gun store owner. The letter Jakubowski wanted to purchase the guns, but was ineligible due to his status as a felon. He also thanked the gun shop owner for protecting the Second Amendment rights on Americans.
Rock County Sheriff Richard Spoden said Jakubowski threatened to attack public officials, schools and churches in his manifesto. Investigators fear Jakubowski may want to target a church over the Easter holiday, so extra patrols will be visible.
“Certainly, if this matter stretches on into Easter, those religious ceremonies will be patrolled,” Janesville Police Chief David Moore said.
Jakubowski has a violent criminal history. He once attacked a police officer, and police worry he may try suicide-by-cop. They're also keeping an eye on House Speaker Paul Ryan and his family -- Ryan is from Janesville.
“We're going to do everything we can, obviously, to keep the community safe, to keep our officers safe, but also, we want to make that he as well stays safe,” Chief Moore said.
Monday, investigators released new photos of tattoos that Jakubowski has in hopes they will help someone identify him. Tuesday, police released a photo of Jakubowski without hair, considering he may have shaved his head.
Joseph Jakubowski is considered very dangerous, and he potentially has an arsenal of weapons. Anyone who sees Jakubowski or knows of his whereabouts should call 911 immediately. If you have general tips or historical information, call 1-800-CALLFBI (225-5324).
While we know he had a plan, we don’t know what the endgame is,” Chief Moore said.
The following law enforcement agencies are actively involved in this investigation: Rock County Sheriff’s Office, Janesville Police Department, Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (ATF), Wisconsin Division of Criminal Investigation, United States Capitol Police, United States Secret Service, United States Postal Inspector, Beloit Police Department, Clinton Police Department, Dane County Sheriff’s Office, Wisconsin State Patrol, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, Beloit Fire Department, Janesville Fire Department, Milton Fire Department, Southwest Emergency Preparedness Team, Southwest Incident Management Team, Beloit Emergency Management, Dane County Emergency Management, City of Beloit Administration, Rock County Board of Supervisors, Rock County 911 Communications Center, Rock County Information Technology Department, Rock County Planning Department, Rock County Facilities Management Department.