Investigators still searching for 13 stolen weapons from Jakubowski manhunt
Sheriff: Like looking for a needle in a haystack
JANESVILLE, Wis. — Nearly a month after officials arrested the suspect of a nationwide manhunt, they’re still looking for more than a dozen weapons they believe he stole.
Rock County officials believe Janesville-native Joseph Jakubowski, 32, broke into Armaggedon Supplies April 4 and stole 18 high-end guns. After the break-in, officials said Jakubowski burned his car and went on the run.
During the investigation, officials also learned Jakubowski had sent a 161-page manifesto to President Donald Trump prior to disappearing.
Investigators captured Jakubowski at a makeshift campsite near the Vernon and Richland county line April 14, more than 120 miles away from Janesville. Officials said he had five of the stolen guns with him.
“It’s not realistic to believe that he was able to carry all these firearms and camping equipment and then walk from the Janesville area all the way up to Vernon County where he was camping,” Rock County Sheriff Robert Spoden said.
During questioning, officials said Jakubowski told them he had ditched several of the weapons along the way.
“He said some of them he dropped in the water. Some of them he buried in the woods,” Spoden said. “But the fact is, is that we really have no idea where they could be and who could have them.”
Spoden said the 13 weapons still missing include an M-16, a silencer and handguns.
Spoden said he thinks Jakubowski may have traded some of the weapons in exchange for a ride, but he said Jakubowski has not admitted to doing that. Officials said Jakubowski has said he did accept one ride from a stranger.
“I find it difficult to believe that somebody would just pick up a random person carrying a huge bag full of weapons and give them a ride,” Spoden said. “But that’s the story that he’s claiming at this time.”
Officials said investigators have gone out to look for the stolen guns based on information Jakubowski gives them. Since Jakubowski’s trek was so long and officials don’t know his exact path, Spoden compared it to looking for a needle in a haystack.
“We’ve searched numerous locations that he’s suggested may have guns, but we have not been able to come up with any that he actually stole,” Spoden said.
He said as the weather warms up and the grass starts to grow, it will become even more difficult to spot the weapons.
“Our concern, obviously, is that these guns could be laying anywhere where children could have access to them,” Spoden said.
He advises anyone in Rock and Vernon counties to stay on the lookout for the guns in remote and wooded areas.
“I would treat any of those firearms that anybody comes across (as) still capable of discharging and very dangerous,” Spoden said.
He said if someone does come across one of the stolen weapons, to contact the authorities and not try to bring the weapon in.
Jakubowski pleaded not guilty in court April 25 to state charges of burglary while arming himself with a weapon, theft and possession of burglary tools. He also pleaded not guilty to similar federal charges.
His attorney has said Jakubowski never intended to hurt anyone.
He is being held at the Rock County Jail in a high-security area away from other inmates. He’s scheduled to appear in court June 22.
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