Police in Wisconsin ramped up security at local churches on Sunday as the manhunt continued for a 32-year-old fugitive who is accused of stealing more than a dozen weapons from a gun store and mailing an anti-government manifesto to President Donald Trump.
Over 150 officers from local, state and federal law-enforcement agencies were searching for Joseph Jakubowski, who they say allegedly broke into the Armageddon Gun Shop in Janesville, Wisconsin, on Tuesday and stole 16 high-caliber rifles and handguns.
Police said Jakubowski is considered “armed and dangerous” and was in possession of a bullet-proof vest and helmet.
Authorities said they were increasing security presence at local churches because of “anti-religion sentiment” contained within a 160-page manifesto they believe was written by Jakubowski and sent to Trump at the White House.
Police said at a press conference on Friday that Jakubowski had been “highly agitated” by national politics recently and an associate of his claimed the wanted man had spoken of a plan to steal guns and carry out an unspecified attack.
Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, canceled its services on Sunday after a suspicious man who looked like Jakubowski stopped by the church on Thursday asking questions, according to a statement from the Rock County Sheriff’s Office.
John McNary, the lead pastor at nearby Heartland Church, in Sun Prairie, told NBC News he saw local police doing extra patrols in the area and that his church had extra security in place on Sunday.
“We were taking extra precautions, just in case,” he said.
The Sun Prairie Police Department told NBC affiliate WMTV on Sunday afternoon that the man who visited the Bethlehem Church late last week was not Jakubowski and was not related to the police’s investigation.
McNary also said he had spoken with an officer who said they did not believe the man was Jakubowski.
Investigators have already followed up on around 400 tips and leads, according to the sheriff’s department statement. The FBI offered a $10,000 reward for information leading to Jakubowski’s capture.
Police released a video last week that the suspect allegedly posted on Facebook appearing to show a man mailing an envelope with his manifesto addressed to Trump.
“Basically he’s angry at all government officials,” Rock County Sheriff Robert Spoden said at the press conference on Friday. “Whether it’s the president or whether it’s local officials or whether it’s law enforcement, he has a dislike for anyone that has authority or governmental power.”
Authorities identified the person who filmed the video as an associate of Jakubowski and a person of interest in the investigation, Rock County Sheriff Robert Spoden told reporters Sunday.
“We’re going to constantly revisit that individual and see if they can think of something else that may have been forgotten and what was the motive and some of those type of things,” Spoden said.
On Tuesday night, police responded to a report of a car fire near the burglarized gun shop and discovered the burned vehicle belonged to Jakubowski.
He has one felony conviction for attempting to steal a gun from a police officer in 2008, and a history of misdemeanors.
Jakubowski is described as 5-foot-10 and 200 pounds with green eyes and brown hair.
For the video, the person who took the video, what do we know about that person?
15;52;07;20 RS: That person has been interviewed and continues to be a person of interest uh with us and the Janesville police department and uh with the FBI and so um they’re going to be somebody that we’re going to continue to talk to to see if we can ascertain whatever information they had they have been cooperating with us, which is obviously something that we’re very happy about, um but we’re going to constantly revisit that individual and see if they can think of something else that may have been forgotten and what was the motive and some of those type of things.
15;52;36;17 BM: Is it a friend? Do you know the relationship?
15;52;38;12 RS: um we know it was an associate
15;52;41;24 BM: And not under arrest at this point. [RS: no]