A man accused of stealing guns in connection with a possible plan for an attack has been captured in Wisconsin following a 10-day manhunt, authorities said.
Joseph Jakubowski, 32, was taken into custody early Friday morning after authorities responded to a call about a suspicious person on a farmer’s property in Readstown, Wis., authorities said in a statement.
More than 150 local, state and federal law enforcement officials had been searching for Jakubowski, whom authorities suspected of stealing at least 16 high-end firearms April 4 from a gun shop in Janesville, a town not far from Wisconsin’s southern border. Police said he had also written a 161-page antigovernment and anti-religion manifesto, which he apparently mailed to President Trump at the White House.
It prompted police to monitor local schools, churches and public leaders as a precaution.
“I can tell you that we don’t know where Mr. Jakubowski is,” Janesville Police Chief David Moore said during a news conference at the time. “He could be around Janesville. He could be around Rock County. He may not even be in Wisconsin.”
The Rock County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement that local authorities in Vernon County received a call late Thursday about a man matching Jakubowski’s description who was camping and refused to leave the area.
About 6 a.m. Friday, officers approached Jakubowski and took him into custody without incident, authorities said; he will be taken back to Rock County to face charges.
Rock County Sheriff Robert Spoden said during a news conference April 7 that investigators determined Jakubowski had been “highly agitated by national politics.” Authorities said in a statement that his 161-page manifesto included “grievances against government and personal angst towards anyone or anything other than natural law or rule.”
Police also released a cellphone video of Jakubowski mailing his manifesto to Trump.
The FBI has evaluated his manifesto “to better understand his mindset,” Spoden said.
“It’s really a long, laundry list of injustices that he believes the government and society and the upper class have put forward on the rest of the citizens,” Spoden told reporters about the document. “So there’s really nothing specific where he’s saying, ‘I was wronged in this way’ or ‘I was wronged in that way.’ It’s just an overview that he feels that the government, and law enforcement in particular, are acting as terrorists and are enslaving the people and creating this environment that he finds unacceptable.”
“Whether it’s the president or whether it’s local officials or whether it’s law enforcement, he basically has a dislike for anyone that has authority or governmental power,” Spoden added.
Spoden said in a statement Thursday that authorities in Waukesha County had launched an investigation into a letter reportedly sent by Jakubowski during the manhunt, threatening violence against area churches on Easter Sunday.
“Investigators want to again remind the public that Jakubowski is considered ‘armed and dangerous,’” Spoden wrote. “Direct sightings of Jakubowski should be called into ‘911’ immediately.”
Rock County sheriff’s deputies responded about 8:40 p.m. April 4 to a burglary at Armageddon Gun Shop in Janesville, where surveillance footage showed a man breaking the front door’s glass, police said in a statement.
About 30 minutes later, a vehicle fire was reported near the scene. Authorities said the car was registered to Jakubowski and that the burglary and arson incidents appeared to be connected.
Jakubowski was missing.
“Mr. Jakubowski is considered a suspect in both incidents and is currently wanted by the Rock County Sheriff’s Office for questioning,” the Rock County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.
The FBI was offering up to a $20,000 cash reward for information leading to his arrest.
Spoden, the Rock County sheriff, said at the time that an associate of Jakubowski told investigators that Jakubowski had been upset over a variety of political issues. Police also learned that he had discussed a plan to steal weapons and use them to carry out an attack against public officials or an unspecified school. As a result, Spoden said, “law enforcement passed this information on to local schools so that they could take the appropriate cautionary measures.”
The Rock County Sheriff’s Office said investigators were not aware of any threat toward a specific school, school district, church or religious institution.
Authorities said that they had responded to tips and leads and searched numerous locations to find Jakubowski, whom they described as armed and “highly dangerous.”
Police also said they had learned that he had acquired a bulletproof vest and helmet.
Moore, the police chief, said last week that Jakubowski has had run-ins with local authorities, including one incident in which he tried to disarm an officer.
But, he said, police had not seen his “antigovernment or terrorist-type” behavior.
“That is a new element for all of us,” Moore said. “Most of his activities have been anger-driven either toward the officers or toward other individuals, but not the antigovernment rhetoric, and that is a new piece to this investigation.”
Authorities were planning to hold a another news conference Friday afternoon.