Authorities: Gun Theft Suspect Captured

Officials Confirm Joseph Jakubowski Is In Custody

Jakubowski press conference
Laurel White/WPR

FBI officials say there are no additional threats related to the fugitive who was arrested in southwestern Wisconsin following a nine-day manhunt.

Milwaukee-based Special Agent Justin Tolomeo joined other law enforcement officials on Friday at a news conference where they detailed the capture of Joseph Jakubowski.

Jakubowski is suspected of stealing an arsenal of weapons from a gun store in southern Wisconsin and of mailing a threatening manifesto to the White House.

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Joseph Jakubowski. Rock County Sheriff’s Office

Tolomeo said Jakubowski was found with four handguns, one long gun, multiple boxes of ammunition, a sword and containers of flammable liquid, as well as a protective vest and helmet.

He said 26 law enforcement agencies, including 250 officers, worked together to find Jakubowski.

Jakubowski, 32, was taken into custody at around 6 a.m. on Friday near Readstown and near the border of Vernon and Richland counties.

Jakubowski is suspected of burglarizing a gun store in Janesville and and making unspecified threats against schools. He also sent a 161-page anti-government manifesto to President Donald Trump.

The Vernon County and Richland County sheriff’s offices say multiple law enforcement agencies established a perimeter overnight around where Jakubowski was camping after a property owner reported him.

Vernon County Sheriff John Spears said the property owner found Jakubowski under a tarp that he had been using as a tent. Jakubowski had been living in what authorities called “primitive camp site.”

Spears said the property owner, who was a retired therapist, spoke with Jakubowski for about an hour and “had a bad feeling.”

The owner of the farm then called the Sheriff’s Department, which decided that information described was “enough that we believed it could be Mr. Jakubowski,” according to Spears.

At least nine separate local, state and federal law enforcement agencies were involved in Jakubowski’s apprehension, which included the deployment of an airplane with infrared technology, according to Spears.

“This was not just a local manhunt, this was a national manhunt and all the resources the FBI, the ATF, State of Wisconsin, Rock County and Janesville brought we used in our belief that we needed to get this individual into custody,” said Rock County Sheriff Robert Spoden.

Authorities said that he was captured “without incident.”

“We are very confident that we will be able to continue this investigation and recover every last weapon that’s still unaccounted for,” said Joel Lee, assistant special agent in charge of the investigation for the federal Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms.

The U.S. Department of Justice said Friday Jakubowski faces a maximum of 10 years in federal prison.

Law enforcement officials said they feel relieved the situation had the outcome it did.

Vernon County Sheriff John Spears said that everyone in his office is feeling, “very very good, you know. I think I can speak for every law enforcement officer in the country that they’re all breathing a sigh of relief this morning.”

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story said the arrest took place in Vernon County. It took place on the border of Richland and Vernon counties. This story was last updated at 4:30 p.m. Friday, April 14.