Fugitive Joseph Jakubowski captured with a farmer's tip

The Rock County Sheriff's Office announces the capture of Joseph Jakubowski.
The Rock County Sheriff's Office announces the capture of Joseph Jakubowski.(WBAY)
Published: Apr. 14, 2017 at 7:08 AM CDT
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After a 9-day manhunt, fugitive Joseph Jakubowski has been captured in western Wisconsin.

Authorities say a farmer late Thursday encountered a man on his property in Vernon County camping under a tarp and refused to leave. The farmer called police, who thought the description sounded like Jakubowski.

Through the night, tactical teams moved into positions around the camp on the Vernon-Richland county line, and at 6 a.m. Friday tactical officers made contact with the man. They positively identified him as Jakubowski and took him into custody without incident. They said he looked disheveled, like he hadn't slept in several days.

Four handguns, boxes of ammunition, a ballistic vest and helmet, a samurai sword and a copy of his manifesto were found in his camp.

Jakubowski had been on the run since April 4, when he broke into Armageddon Supplies in Janesville. It's believed he stole 18 guns from the store. The FBI had a $20,000 reward out for his arrest.

On the same day of the burglary, Jakubowski mailed a 161-page manifesto to President Donald Trump.

At a news conference Friday afternoon, Janesville Police Chief David Moore said, "What could have happened here was a mass shooting. That was our concern."

The 32-year-old had expressed anti-government and anti-religion views. He referred to the government as a "gang of terrorists." He also blamed government regulation for destroying his passion for being an artist.

"Priests and churches control the presidents and the banks," reads part of Jakubowski's manifesto.

"We were very fortunate we were able to learn about the document Jakubowski sent to the White House. We were fortunate to know about the gun shop burglary. We were fortunate to know of his very involved plan and prompt disappearance afterwards. It ended just as we anticipated and as we hoped. It ended because a citizen gave a clue," Janesville Police Chief David Moore said.

Rock County Sheriff Robert Spoden says Jakubowski will be charged with three felonies related to the gun shop burglary. The FBI says more charges can be expected.

The property owner who found Jakubowski camping on his farm told the Associated Press that the fugitive was "cordial" and "never raised his voice." Jeffrey Gorn says he didn't realize Jakubowski was a wanted man and that he had talked with the fugitive for about an hour.

Janesville and Rock County authorities said they were prepared for an extended investigation and also had the assets in place in case of a mass shooting.

"It was a law enforcement footprint this county has not seen before. I would say it was of epic proportions," Chief Moore said.

He added, "The concern we had was, what was his end game? How did he envision this ending? Whatever his end game was, he was not able to complete it."

The news of Jakubowski's capture has eased security concerns for schools, houses of religion and Wisconsin government officials.

FBI Special Agent in Charge Justin Tolomeo said there are no other credible threats related to him in Wisconsin. Authorities believe a threat towards churches in Walworth County attributed to Jakubowski was not from him.

Gov. Scott Walker was forced to cancel the annual Easter Egg Hunt in Madison due to the manhunt. The governor has since announced that the hunt would go on as scheduled on Saturday.

Governor Walker offered praise and relief in a statement Friday morning: "Thank you to law enforcement at the municipal, county, state and federal level for their outstanding work in apprehending the suspect who posed such a serious threat. We are thankful that people don't have to worry about Easter weekend activities."

The FBI had been monitoring the Janesville home of House Speaker Paul Ryan.

The Janesville School District released a statement saying, "The capture of the fugitive suspect Joseph Jakubowski this morning sends good and safe news to our school community ... We wish to thank our local law enforcement partners, especially the Janesville Police Department and the Rock County Sheriff's Office for providing extra support and security for our schools. Their communication and efforts were instrumental in helping keep our community and schools safe throughout this ordeal."

A letter claiming to be from Jakubowski threatened violence at churches in Waukesha County on Easter Sunday. The sheriff

there could not substantiate the threat or confirm it was from Jakubowski,

Jakubowski will be returned to Rock County to face charges.

Action 2 News will continue to update this breaking news story.



A search is underway in western Wisconsin for an armed man, according to our

The search is located in Richland County, about 120 miles north west of Janesville.

Officials have not said who they are looking for, or if they believe it is fugitive Joseph Jakubowski.

WMTV reports that Richland County officials are expected to provide an update on the search this morning. WMTV reports a news conference will be held at Kickapoo High School in Viola.